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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ross Mirkarimi Hearing: City Attorney Releases Initial List of Witnesses to Testify

Posted By on Tue, May 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

click to enlarge No surprisingly, both Mirkarimi and Lopez made the initial witness list.
  • No surprisingly, both Mirkarimi and Lopez made the initial witness list.

Mayor Ed Lee's legal strategy to expel suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is taking shape as expected. Today his legal team released an initial list of fact witnesses for the Ethics Commission hearing.

The witness list seeks testimony from, among others, Mirkarimi's ex-girlfriend Christina Flores, his neighbors Ivory Madison and Abraham Mertens, Mirkarimi's campaign manager, Linnette Peralta Haynes, and Mirkarimi's wife, Eliana Lopez. Lopez is currently in Venezuela, the document notes, and "when Ms. Lopez returns, we do not expect her cooperation."

The City Attorney's Office also plans to question members of the Sheriff's Department who worked alongside Mirkarimi as he transitioned from being a city supervisor to his taking office as the county's new sheriff in January. The mayor has made the case that Mirkarimi was unofficially, but effectively, in office when he grabbed and bruised his wife's arm in a December 31 domestic dispute -- an incident for which Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to false imprisonment.

Acting Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, former Sheriff Michael Hennessey, and former Undersheriff Jan Dempsey are also on the list to testify, in addition to the police detectives who investigated the domestic dispute.

Lee has also argued that Mirkarimi dissuaded witnesses from contacting authorities -- and he seems to think Haynes, who managed Mirkarimi's campaign, will be key in proving this. The mayor attempted to subpoena about four months of Haynes' cellphone records, but a judge tentatively denied that request yesterday.

Today's filing notes that Haynes "is expected to testify about: her communications with Ivory Madison on January 4, which were intended to deter Ivory Madison from reporting Sheriff Mirkarimi's conduct to the police; her communications with Eliana Lopez on January 4, which were intended to deter Eliana Lopez from reporting Sheriff Mirkarimi's conduct to the police."

Also on the list: SFPD Captain Kathy Gorwood; Paul Henderson, director of Public Safety;  Lt. Michelle Jean; SFPD Inspector John Keane; SFPD Adult Probation Department Chief Wendy Still;  Mirkirimi's neighbor, Callie Williams; Mayor Lee; and Mirkarimi himself.

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