San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is suspending Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi from his post, the first step toward removing him from office permanently for official misconduct, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. “He has chosen not to resign and now I must act,” Lee said, saying the sheriff’s actions “fell below the standard of decency and good faith” needed for public officials. Mirkarimi pleaded guilty last week to a misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment for an incident involving his wife on New Year’s Eve.
Lee named Vicki Hennessy to serve as interim sheriff. Hennessy last ran the Department of Emergency Management after a career in the Sheriff’s Department, where she retired as chief deputy. Lee told Mirkarimi Monday that he had 24 hours to resign voluntarily, but the embattled sheriff, who was elected in November and sworn in Jan. 8, refused the request and will fight the official misconduct charge. Mirkarimi was sentenced Monday to three years probation, a year’s worth of domestic violence intervention classes and other penalties for pleading guilty to the false imprisonment charge.