Outgoing Supervisor Christina Olague unleashes on domestic-violence community

“I think it’s too bad I have been scapegoated in this way

Outgoing Supervisor Christina Olague unloaded some hard feelings Thursday in front of officials from the Department on the Status of Women, who listened to the supervisor complain that she was bullied by local victim advocates because of her race and politics.

After her controversial October vote to reinstate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi amid his spousal domestic violence scandal, Olague became the target of television ads calling for her to be voted out of office.

The department officials were at a Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee hearing Thursday to discuss a proposed new workplace domestic violence policy for The City, which would encourage more information sharing about domestic violence among city workers and contractors. But they got to hear about much more than that.

“I think it’s too bad I have been scapegoated in this way,” Olague said, adding that it’s ironic The City would seek to protect victims from harm when she was aggressively chided by Mayor’s Office staff following her Mirkarimi vote.

“It’s OK for the mayor’s staff to bully me? Some bullying is OK?”

Tony Winnicker, one of Mayor Ed Lee’s top aides, texted Olague in disgust the night of the vote and called her “the most ungrateful and dishonorable person ever to serve on the board. You should resign in disgrace.” Winnicker addressed Olague “as a constituent” and apparently not as a proxy for Lee, who appointed Olague in January to fill Mirkarimi’s District 5 post after he was elected sheriff.

Olague also lashed out in the direction of Supervisor Eric Mar — who sponsored the proposed workplace violence policy — because she sought to co-sponsor the measure, but was blocked from doing so. Mar responded that he was simply “abiding” by the wishes of the domestic violence consortium that consulted him on the policy.

“Sadly, I believe the organizers came to you with an outside political agenda,” Olague retorted.

Olague said victim advocates never sought input from her or Mirkarimi’s wife, Eliana Lopez — the victim in the scandal — perhaps because both are Latinas.

She also suggested that the political action committee that targeted her following the Mirkarimi vote was made up “primarily of white women,” and she went on to complain that Thursday’s hearing included no city officials who were “women of color.”

Ann Lehman, the policy director for the Department on the Status of Women, had no comment on the political aspects of Olague’s diatribe, but she refuted the notion that The City only is concerned about white victims.

“That’s actually not true,” Lehman said. “We serve every income, every ethnicity, every culture.”

The Mayor’s Office declined to comment on Olague’s remarks.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsBoard of SupervisorsGovernment & PoliticsLocalPoliticsRoss Mirkarimi

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