Resurgent perjury allegations against Mayor Ed Lee have fueled political tension at City Hall in advance of a special Oct. 9 Board of Supervisors hearing that is expected to conclude the nine-month hullabaloo about suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.
Mirkarimi’s attorneys filed a request Monday that asks supervisors to subpoena four witnesses who might shed light on Lee’s June 29 testimony in the sheriff’s official misconduct proceedings at the Ethics Commission. In March, Lee suspended Mirkarimi without pay after the sheriff entered a misdemeanor guilty plea in a domestic violence incident involving his wife, Eliana Lopez.
During his Ethics Commission testimony, Lee said he never spoke with any supervisors before the suspension.
But in a sworn statement filed Monday, Building Inspection Commissioner Debra Walker detailed several communications with Supervisor Christina Olague. Walker said in the declaration that she and Olague spoke on multiple occasions about Lee seeking advice before the suspension.
But when the perjury matter flared up, Walker claims her former friend Olague shunned her.
“On June 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm, I received a phone message from Supervisor Olague saying ‘Debra, the conversation never happened,’” Walker said. “I responded to her by text message saying that I thought that she should be honest that the Mayor perjured himself.”
On Tuesday, Olague didn’t deny Walker’s account, but said she simply couldn’t remember.
“At this point, I have 20 million other priorities,” Olague said. “I don’t remember. It’s been too f—ing long. How many months has it been?”
Olague, aside from being central to the perjury allegations made by Mirkarimi’s legal team, also could be a key vote among the 11 supervisors, nine of whom have to agree with the mayoral suspension to permanently remove Mirkarimi from office.
When asked by The San Francisco Examiner if she should excuse herself from voting because of the controversy, Olague said she didn’t know.
“Who knows, man?” Olague said. “That’s nothing for me to decide.”
Olague, who was appointed by the mayor to replace Mirkarimi as supervisor after he was inaugurated as sheriff in January, discounted Walker’s comments.
“I’ve moved way beyond Debra Walker and her gossip and her contempt for the mayor and everything else,” Olague said. “I don’t know what her problem is.”
Walker said she has no contempt for Lee.
“I don’t know Ed Lee,” Walker said. “I have contempt for perjury, and that’s what this is about.”
Mayoral spokeswoman Christine Falvey said the mayor stands by his testimony and called the subpoena request a “last-ditch desperate attempt to distract people from the facts yet again.”
A subpoena request also went before the Ethics Commission in July, but commissioners decided the perjury matter was immaterial to whether Mirkarimi committed misconduct.
The commission ended up voting 4-1 that Mirkarimi committed official misconduct on two of the mayor’s six written charges.
“These allegations do not change that fact,” Falvey said of the recent subpoena request.
A majority of supervisors would have to support the proposal to question additional witness for the testimony to happen.