SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A defiant San Francisco sheriff said Tuesday he has no plans to resign despite the threat of an ethics probe over a domestic violence case.
"I wanted to and have taken full responsibility," Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi told a throng of reporters outside his office in San Francisco City Hall
A judge on Monday sentenced Mirkarimi to three years of probation and a year of counseling after the sheriff pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment.
Mayor Ed Lee on Monday told Mirkarimi to resign or he would start the process of removing him from office for official misconduct. Lee is expected to address the media later Tuesday.
Mirkarimi said his actions on New Year's Eve that left his wife's arm bruised did not constitute official misconduct within the meaning of the law. He declined to elaborate. Mirkarimi was sworn in as sheriff on Jan. 8 after serving two terms on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Attorney Lidia Stiglich told The Associated Press that Mirkarimi will hire another attorney to represent him before the city's Ethics Commission and Board of Supervisors if Lee follows through on his threat to try to remove him from office.
Lee can temporarily suspend the sheriff and start the process of permanently removing Mirkarimi, but it would take the votes of nine of the 11 members of the Board of Supervisors to accomplish that task. The matter would first be referred to the city's Ethics Commission if Lee decides to push for removal.
Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment in exchange for the dropping of three other misdemeanor charges of domestic violence, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.
The plea deal was struck as a jury was picked for a trial that promised to embarrass the sheriff with testimony about infidelity, his temper and other intimate details.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said the false imprisonment charge was a domestic violence plea and the conviction was just as serious as the charges that were dropped.
Under the plea agreement, Mirkarimi must pay $590 in fines, serve probation, spend a year in a domestic violence intervention program, take parenting classes and do community service.
The district attorney said Mirkarimi will be barred from carrying a gun until a judge lifts a stay-away order still in place that prevents the sheriff from seeing his wife without court permission. Gascon said that order could stay in place for the entire three years of probation.
Mirkarimi also said he was undergoing counseling to address "my arrogance and anger management issues" and reiterated his advocacy against domestic violence while serving two-terms on the Board of Supervisors.