Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi went on KQED's Forum this morning to finally give the public what they want: a detailed account of what happened between him and his wife, Eliana Lopez, on the morning of Dec. 31, 2011.
In an emotional interview with Michael Krasny, Mirkarimi, who was suspended last month without pay, calmly recounted how a verbal argument between him and his wife on their way to lunch exploded into a “runaway train” that landed the sheriff-in-limbo with a conviction.
“While silently and privately dealing with it … I have finally mustered the reserve to tell the story that has not been told,” Mirkarimi said.
He set the scene, explaining that the couple and their 2-year-old son, Theo, were on their way to Delfina Pizza in Pacific Heights at around 11:45 a.m. on New Year's Eve when a “horrible quarrel” started about a familiar topic in their family: Lopez's impending trip to her native Venezuela. Mirkarimi explains that his wife had already taken a trip there six months before, and stayed, with their son, for more than two months. He didn't want them to go again.
But what made this argument even more intense was that Lopez also mentioned she'd been talking to a lawyer — which became his first clue that they were no longer just talking about a trip to South America, but custody issues.
That's when Mirkarimi says he turned their minivan around — against his wife's wishes — because he was afraid they would argue about this emotionally charged subject in public.
“I was seriously misrepresented when I saw [in news reports] that I said I was powerful and 'You can't take my son away,'” Mirkarimi says.