Friday, January 13, 2012
The District Attorney's office plans to file charges of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness, sources said. He could be arraigned as early as Tuesday.
A spokesman for Mirkarimi, who was sworn into office less than a week ago, said the sheriff plans to fight the charges and will not resign.
Mirkarimi, who served on the Board of Supervisors for seven years before becoming sheriff on Sunday, has denied wrongdoing; his attorney described the case as flimsy; and his wife, Eliana Lopez, has said it is not true that Mirkarimi bruised her during a fight on New Years Eve.
"He's going to fight it. He and Eliana just believe there has been no incident of domestic violence," said Jim Stearns, Mirkarimi's spokesman.
If found guilty, Mirkarimi, a sworn peace officer, would be prohibited from carrying a firearm. He also would be required to attend domestic violence classes, pay a $400 fine and could be put on probation for up to three years or sent to jail for up to a year. As sheriff, Mirkarimi oversees the city's jail system.
Police initiated an investigation after a neighbor of the couple contacted them on Jan. 4. The neighbor said Lopez contacted her on New Year's Day to report the alleged abuse: that Mirkarimi grabbed his wife's arm forcefully enough to cause bruising. The neighbor said she had a photo and video of the bruising and text messages from Lopez about the incident. Police, armed with a search warrant, seized the photo, video and texts as evidence.