Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi said he plans to take unpaid time off during days he’s scheduled to appear for his criminal court case, but stopped short of saying he’d step aside throughout the court proceedings in the coming days and weeks.
The sheriff, who is facing three misdemeanor charges in connection with an alleged abuse incident at his San Francisco home on Dec. 31, met with Mayor Ed Lee Tuesday afternoon to discuss whether the Sheriff’s Department can run smoothly with the frenzy surrounding the case.
“When I’m spending time in trial, naturally, I’d like to take unpaid days,” Mirkarimi said after the meeting Tuesday. “During this process, I would recuse myself.”
Eliana Lopez -- Mirkarimi’s wife and the alleged victim -- has said the incident was “taken out of context,” but statements made to police by two of Mirkarimi’s neighbors and an ex-girlfriend point to a pattern of anger problems for the sheriff.
Mirkarimi said the mayor was “cordial” and “respectful” and didn’t ask him to step aside during the conversation. In recent days, Lee has called the case a “serious matter” that could present significant “distractions” to running the Sheriff’s Department.
“They have not been distractions,” Mirkarimi said. “But I do see how they’d be viewed as distractions.”