Update: Aaron Peskin calls on Ross Mirkarimi to resign. See end.
Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi avoided a trial by jury. Will he now survive a trial by ordeal?
Mayor Ed Lee has offered Mirkarimi an ultimatum — either resign by 5 p.m. today or face proceedings to be removed from office. Sources within the city told SF Weekly the sheriff was given this deal during Monday's brief sit-down with the mayor. (Loosely, yes, this is a variation of the plotline of High Noon, in which a lawman is given a deadline to clear out of town or face a vicious attack by dangerous men. Who was good and evil was not so ambiguous on screen. It is more so in real life).
The legal and political lines between whether the mayor has the goods to boot Mirkarimi from office or whether Mirkarimi has the strength to withstand it will be blurred — and not in Mirkarimi's favor. It's hard to imagine Mirkarimi's misdeed — he has pleaded guilty to false imprisonment following an alleged domestic abuse incident with his wife — rising to the City Charter's mandate of “wrongful behavior by a
public officer in relation to the duties of his or her office.” But it's also hard to imagine many of Mirkarimi's erstwhile political allies putting up much of a fight for him at this point.
Our messages for the sheriff have not yet been returned. But if he's looking for support from progressive stalwarts, he's not going to get it. Former Board President and current county Democratic Party chairman Aaron Peskin refused to comment on Mirkarimi's plight. But he did say that if the sheriff didn't resign by end of business today, Peskin would be putting out a statement on the matter.