Mayor Ed Lee wants to know how Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi can oversee domestic violence programs

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s reinstatement served as a dramatic conclusion to his nine-month domestic violence scandal earlier this month, and he wasted no time extending an olive branch to Mayor Ed Lee — the man who tried to remove him from office.

The mayor has effectively pruned that branch.

On Friday, Lee fired off a letter to the sheriff asking him why he’s qualified to oversee his department’s domestic violence programs, given that Mirkarimi himself is on probation, undergoing court-mandated batterer intervention classes due to his March guilty plea to misdemeanor false imprisonment.

Lee again called out Mirkarimi regarding his early-January remarks that the details of his spat with his wife were not the public’s business.

“Your reference to the allegations of domestic violence as a ‘private family matter’ dismisses the years of anti-domestic violence efforts,” Lee wrote. “This inhibits your ability to work collaboratively with domestic violence key stakeholders.”

Earlier this month, District Attorney George Gascón asked Mirkarimi to recuse himself from duties related to the department’s domestic violence programs. The sheriff responded that he will deal with that problem as it arises, noting that he was “elected in his own right.”

Gascón vowed to take “legal action” if Mirkarimi chooses not to comply with the recusal. Lee returned to that topic in his letter.

“His request included appointment of a high level administrator with independent authority over domestic violence related matters,” Lee said of Gascón’s request. “Because of your status, the adequate certification of batterers’ intervention programs may be in jeopardy.”

Lee, who is expected to appear at a domestic-violence-related event on Monday, suspended Mirakrimi without pay in March. The mayor needed nine votes from the Board of Supervisors to remove the sheriff permanently, but only seven members agreed that the Dec. 31 fight with his wife constituted official misconduct under the City Charter.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

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