Despite an ongoing investigation and the possibility of domestic violence charges being filed this week, newly anointed Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is going about business as usual.
Mirkarimi has been showing up to work “every day,” said Susan Fahey, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department. Over the past few days Mirkarimi has been “getting into the swing of it,” and he is expected to hold a management meeting next week and is interviewing candidates for undersheriff, Fahey said.
Meanwhile, the investigation continues and District Attorney George Gascón alluded Wednesday to the distinct possibility of prosecution.
“I hope to bring this case forward before the end of the week, if we can,” Gascón said.
Mirkarimi’s attorney, Bob Waggener, said waiting for a decision on charges was “a little frustrating,” and “difficult” for Mirkarimi.
“It’s a lot swirling around, coming from all sides,” Waggener said. “He’s just started this job, he’s got a lot to do, so it’s not an easy situation.”
The investigation surrounds a New Year’s Eve incident in which Mirkarimi allegedly grabbed his wife, Eliana Lopez, and bruised her upper arm. A female neighbor called police after Lopez spoke with her about the incident.
Lopez has said it was “completely taken out of context,” while Mirkarimi has called it “a private matter, a family matter.”
“I think it would be a mistake for anyone to consider these cases a personal matter,” Gascón said. “They’re not a personal matter. It is a crime, if it in fact occurred. And it is my responsibility to make sure that we bring the full bear of the system to deal with this case.”
Waggener has called the evidence “flimsy,” but allowed for the possibility of misdemeanor charges being filed.
Gascón’s decision will clearly be viewed through a political, as well as a legal, lens.
“This comes with the territory,” Gascón said. “I’m here to do what is appropriate, what is right, what is ethically and morally right.”