The San Jose Mercury News says this week’s reinstatement of San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi shocked domestic violence activists, who fear the surprising decision to return the convicted spouse abuser to his job will set back decades of efforts to show domestic violence is a serious crime. Most thought Mirkarimi would lose his job, but Mayor Ed Lee’s crusade to oust him failed to muster the nine of 11 votes needed from the board of supervisors. He returned to work Wednesday.
The politically charged case made headlines when Mirkarimi, newly elected but not yet sworn in, was arrested after a Dec. 31 argument with his Venezuelan soap star wife, Eliana Lopez. He grabbed and bruised her arm during an argument in their minivan. She made a tearful video about the incident, and a neighbor turned the video over to police. Mirkarimi said he returns to work “a very humbled person.” But he criticized domestic violence agencies, police and prosecutors for failing to reach out and get the story from his wife, who became his staunchest supporter. She said she has forgiven her husband and called it “personal misconduct,” not “official misconduct,” which is the standard to oust a public official.