San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was suspended last month on official misconduct charges after he was convicted of a domestic violence-related crime involving his wife. Mirkarimi joins us in the studio in his first extended broadcast interview since the incident.

Ross Mirkarimi, San Francisco sheriff (suspended) and former supervisor, District 5

  • Bill

    Ross, I sympathize with you regarding your bizarre plight. But can you please tell us, what part if any did you play in the crackdown on Occupy SF?

  • Walk1947

    I feel a great concern for you and your family! I feel that the efforts of the Women’s Victim’s Consortium, used tea party methods, to pressure public officials, to use your case as a weapon to further their agenda. I feel that using your case as a banner for victims rights, is an insult to what they propose to stand for. Using billboards to put pressure on the courts using your case, to continue their billboard advertizment, was a betrayel to your family. I feel they took liberty to declare themselves as the voice of your wife, and with out regard to her as a victim, they silenced her. In this case, if feel that their actions can easily be interpreted, as a weapon to destroy any reconcilliation, you and your family deserve. I believe that Mayor Lee, had spoken honorably when he said, that he would leave it to the voters, to make the decision, as to whether or not they wanted to recall you. In the end he folded, to the will of of the most vocal group, that the media gave voice to. Several of your collegues I feel are using this agenda to further protect thier own personal agendas. There are several cases of inpropriety involving public officials, that the public is aware of. A double standard would be an insult to the public they are to serve. I wish you continued strength in fighting your case. There are many who support you. You have done good work as a supervisor, and I and many others believe that you should be reinstated as Sheriff.

  • Rescue8

    Don’t like the man, never have. I don’t think he is qualified to be Sheriff, hell he was not qualified to be a Supervisor and that job takes the brains of Eric Mar (not much). His 1 night stand with Eliana bit him in the butt when she got pregnant. Enough, go back to Rhode Island or Chicago, I really don’t care but leave SF, soon Ross.

  • Ryan

    Both Ross and his supporters have suggested (and continue to suggest) that the sole motive for his persecution is politically motivated.  What does Ross believe is the main political motive for people’s spite towards him?

    • Blackluke8

      Gee I don’t know! How about the fact that in family court if you are an unemployed male with a DV charge, you aren’t getting visitation, much less custody! I would tell whatever lie I had to if I was in his situation.  The evil is the system that reduces him to this state.

      • Replier

        Again you are confused about what he is doing. He is not in family court right now trying to regain contact. He refused to resign when asked & is fighting a misconduct charge, at taxpayer expense, so he can get his job back. Even if he wins that fight, he will NOT get automatic custody/visitation, since that is determined in a different venue, and has to do whether whether you took family counseling  & seemed likely to engage in “child endangerment” again. It has nothing to with whether you keep your job as sheriff.

  • Lindaeugenia

    What a whiner. Soon he’ll start to cry again.

  • Lindaeugenia

    Oh here we go. Now the tears.

  • Mitchelsteve

    If there was no false imprisonment, Ross, why did you plead guilty to false imprisonment?  

  • Raphael_cabrera

    what a shister! 

  • $22911251

    The charges, the media obsession, the removal from office is an example of how dishonest and exploitative powerful people in government positions can destroy people without any scrutiny.

    I am so sorry to Ross and his family.

    I can not imagine having my children taken away from me, and I suspect all the Ross haters share this essential human emotion.

    • J2310b

      Spot on. As a result of a false accusation I lost my home and children for 6 months and was shunned by many friends since. Nearly lost my job too. That was 7 years ago. Happily my children have had their loving daddy back since. Those were black months which could have resulted in a terrible outcome. But my family survived the Domestic Violence advocates. Since then I am dedicated to overturning the anti-male gender profiling laws that facilitated the assault on my precious family.

      • Blackluke8

        Good for you.  Unfortunately this is psychological warfare of the highest order, and as actual men, we are behind the eight ball.  Our motivation, actions, and desires are easily mischaracterized and exploited by the amoral and principle-less feminist/legal cabal.  Only when liberal women are exposed as the liars they are, and the natural need for children to have their fathers in their lives recognized, will society be put right.  Take heart.  There are women and men in your corner.

        • Replier

          California law already recognizes a natural right for children to have both fathers AND mothers in their lives. That’s why you cannot deprive a parent of contact with the child simply because of gender in this state. You can only do so if there’s been violence, sex abuse, drug abuse etc. The very fact that you characterize all males as  victims in custody cases, all “liberal women” as “liars”, and the whole legal profession an “amoral & principle-less feminist/legal cabal” shows how fair you would be if you were running the courts …NOT. The common law likewise used to always assume the father should decide custody, because the children were “his” as if they were not  ALSO their mother’s.Thank goodness current CA legal system is not always run according to your unfair assumption that all males are victims, and  “liberal women” (whatever that means) always “liars.”

      • Replier

        Please name the exact LAW in California that gender-profiles in custody/visitations. Law is quite clear: neither parent, regardless of gender, can deprive other of contact with other parent unless there’s been criminal behavior like violence, sex abuse, drug abuse etc. There may be informal, extra-legal gender bias (something females experience to their detriment all the time in the job and marriage market), but you provide no evidence that it’s always stacked against males. It’s been my personal experience with legal personnell that they are class-biased, and male judges in particular have no idea how the real job market works for most  low-income people in general & females in particualr,  But I wouldn’t presume, as you do, to generalize my personal experience of bias to the whole state legal system.

    • Jenny Sacco

      Ross received more than 70,000 votes (more 1st place ranked choice votes than Ed Lee received in the mayor race.
        I thought the will of the people/voters was paramount in this country and under the Constitution.
         If anyone were to take Mr. Mirkarimi out of office or decide to leave him in, it should have been the people.
          But I think Ed Lee knows that Mr.Mirkarimi has always won elections, for himself and for other people. Ed Lee and the conservative faction didn’t trust the people, so they want to bury someone.

  • Bjvalley

    Mr Mirkarimi had an opportunity to tell his version of the events at  trial.  He chose to plea bargain and avoid that.  Listening him now I’m struck by his continuing ‘poor me’ attitude and lack of taking responsibilty for the events. 

    • sophie’s choice

      Hey — 95% of all cases do not go to trial.  It is too expensive and time consuming and most attorneys have little experience before judge and jury

      Lawyers like to settle cases so that they can move on to their next case.  Judges don’ want cases clogging up the courts.

      RM was told that he could not get a fair trial in SF.  Anyone not believe that?

      • KenMckinleyville

        Plus, people are asking why he didn’t tell his side of the issue much earlier. No lawyer would let a client talk to the DA, the police or the media “before” trial or settlement.
          In a criminal case, I’ve often thought time and money and a good outcome for an innocent person could result by talking to the DA, and telling your side of the issue.
           But then, if you do go to trial, the DA can use that info to work against you… especially if you testify at trial.
           Don’t talk.

    • Billiam

       BJ, you’ve been watching too much WrestleMania.

  • Andy

    I don’t understand the need for KQED to give air time to this subject? Haven’t we seen and heard enough politicians air their dirty laundry in public hoping that the some sort of public contrition will save their careers? The fact that Mirkarimi is prepared to come on air and discuss this further demonstrates his lack of judgment. He says he owes the people an explanation? He is dragging his family further and further into the public spot light in some bizarre desparate need to hang on to whatever power a Sherrif commands. I can only imagine the people in his department and how much respect he has lost, and will continue to lose as he persists in this sad, desparate attempt to spin this into something positive. This is listening to a live train wreck.

  • John

    Classic media circus. The man made a mistake (no excuses for that) which plays in direct contrast to his image–gotcha, irony, hoisted on his own pitard(sp?). Media descends, smells blood, politicos see an opp for easy self righteous indignation. These are serious charges but the bloodlust for this guy’s head is way out of proprtion to the incident. He aint perfect, has ego and anger issues but he’s a passionate advocate for progressive issues and i want him to stay on the job. I wish him and his family well on trying to heal and move forward.

    • Daniel Danielson106

       Just wait until YOUR life is in his hands. Do you want it to be handled by a narcissist or whatever his problem is?

      • Piggy

         In modern America, is there any person who is NOT a narcissist? We are all islands, and titans in our own minds.

  • move on Ross

    My five encounters with Ross
    1. Gratton School Movie Night where he stood up and self-promoted his role for local schools and community as if he was part of the process..see point 3
    2. My neighbors trying to remove HANC recycling from the GG Park – Ross response -“Sorry, you are not my voting base…move along”
    3. My neighbors attempts to get him involved in arbitrating a Juvenile Court Appointed School going in on 7th ave. – He ran for cover and sent his underling who spent most of the meeting back slapping SFUSD and the Juvenile Court Judge and ignoring the neighborhood group. Ross’s weasel out clause was ‘Supervisors can’t sway SFUSD’ -see point 1
    4. Turning up for clean the streets and politicking rather than cleaning and proving once again nothing gets done in SF unless you kiss the ring of your local politician, who can then magically get DPW to turn up and do what they should be doing.
    5. My Good friend was killed in the UCSF shuttle accident and Ross got in front of the cameras asking for seat belts and using the incident to get himself some free press for his upcoming election. Still waiting for a follow up Ross.

    In short he did Sweet F.A for the Inner Sunset and I would have at least some respect for the guy if he had come out and disagreed on principle not simply pandering to his base so he would get the Sheriff job endorsements. Now, when we get to look closer under the hood, we see the true Ross and the ugly side of SF pay-to-play politics. Power corrupts, you lost sight of your own principals. Resign and be done. If you can’t manage your temper you can’t manage a team.

  • Anonymous

    Did Ross’ wife actually pay the neighbor “attorney” any funds or sign an engagement letter that they can show proof of?  That is the actual legal test on whether you have engaged counsel.

    • Piggy

       Too many foreign women come to California looking for a quickie husband. I hope Mirkarimi wasn’t caught up in one of those situations. Women like that are sharks….

    • Ken Raley

      Isn’t a simple conference or two, plus saying you are a lawyer enough to invoke the rule of confidentiality?

  • Jenn

    It’s easy for them to make the neighbor the bad guy in this, but when should she have called the police?  When Eliana came over with a bloody nose?  Or should she have waited for the black eye? broken arm?  Ivory Madison did the right thing.

  • Karen

    I believe that characterizing this conversation with Ross M. as a ‘story’ is completely accurate.  He sounds like many other abusers I have known – e.g. contrite and humble while perhaps raging inside.  His sense of entitlement over his wife’s activities is uncanny.  As a woman who was abused in a past life I can say I would never trust that as Sheriff he (or his staff) would actually come to my aid if the need arose – fortunately that will not be an issue for me, but will be for others. 

    • Blackluke8

      It’s all abuse when it results in you having the power to deny a man his son, right? At the end of the day, people see through your BS…

      • Replier

        Again with the insults: “BS”? Try evidence and logic.  You know nothing about her life, weren’t there and  have never seen the evidence one way or the other. If you automatically  call something “BS” without the evidence you are the irrational– and dangerous–one.

  • obchan

    Say, in all due respect to Forum and KQED, and the citizens of San Franciso,, this is, to many of us listening from elsewhere in the State, a VERY SMALL tempest in a teacup… the sheriff should be handling most of these issues with his family and a judge/family counselors.  If the main motive is that he is a political figure–hey–his career is over: no charge for that assessment, so why take up all this radio time on it?

    • Daniel

      Yes he is a political figure and the thing is that he does not want to admit it is over.

  • Sina

    Thank you for this broadcast
    Ross has been always responsible in front of public and he is well qualified for this position.
    He got to the office through public votes and I can not agree that any decision made by a few individuals elected in the same level could get him out of office.
    The other issue I have is that the system does not the couple to resolve issues and stay together. All the forces are to help a separation.
    Is it because he is a political figure? or for everyone of us

    • RegularListener

      However, if voters had known about his behavior towards family, he probably would not have gotten all those votes, so to some extent the election result was based on dubious premises. People in public office try to hide family conflicts exactly because they know it undermines their chance at winning.

  • Jenn

    Ross still doesn’t get it.  He just said he placed his hand on her and she was bruised.  No Ross, YOU bruised her arm. 

    • Piggy

       Tempest in a teapot. I heard of a bar fight a couple years ago where a big guy pushed a guy through a window and the victim died.

      Bruised arm? Come on…

  • Robin Bayley

    This “man” is sickening me.

  • bjvalley

    If Mr Mirkarimi was so looking forward to the trial why cop a plea?  His defense against his suspension and possible removal from office that the incident happened before he was officially inaugerated is laughable.  If he is not removed by the Mayor I would hope a recall effort would be forthcoming. I am so sick of hearing his ‘everybodyis lieing, it’s all political, poor me garbage.  Man up, Ross. 

  • Belle

    Regardless of the rights and wrongs of the case, Mr. Mirkarimi sounds like someone who is in meltdown and should probably not try to undertake the tough job of Sheriff until he’s regained his balance.

    • Billiam

      Did Lee show any balance when he OK’d the crackdown on Occupy?

  • Barbara

    What about Ross still being a Supervisor at the time (misconduct unbecoming a Supervisor??)

  • Jenn

    Why do we vote for Sheriff anyway?  We don’t vote for Police Chief or Fire Chief.  Why is Sheriff an elected position?

  • Rob M.

    Ross’s comments today further illustrate his ill-famed arrogance and refusal to take responsibility for his own actions. The facts are clear — he physically injured his spouse in anger, he falsely imprisoned her, and then he strenuously fought to obscure his responsibility for these actions through legal technicalities. Be a man, Ross, and put the City ahead of your own ego. Resign.

    • Piggy

      I didn’t sound that way to me. There must be another reason for this circus. Maybe nothing else is going on in SF. Locals have gotten bored with bars, TV, expensive dinners and mortgage payments.

      • Blackluke8

        So now they occupy themselves with the Roman gladiator pit of the modern society.  Using public discourse and the media to wage psychological warfare on a man who clearly hasn’t done anything wrong other than have a child with a nutjob.

        • Replier

           No, it’s not clear he’s “hasn’t done anything wrong.” That’s why there will be an investigation, which Merkarimi chose, at taxpayer expense, rather than simply move on to another job. You rely far too much on ad hominem attacks: calling everyone you don’t like or disagree with “nutjob” elsewhere on this thread it’s “idiot” or “pansy” or….Drop the insults and try relying on logic.

  • Alex

    I understand Mr. Mirkarimi’s frustration with the misinformation surrounding the actual events that led to this controversy.  But the damage done to the Bay Area’s understanding of domestic violence will take years to correct.  Where is the voice of the survivor here.

  • anonymous

    This guy just oozes arrogance. 

    • Bill

       Then why’d she marry him, eh?

  • bjvalley

    Your point about getting a closer look under the hood is right on. I hope Mr Mirkarimi’s days in The City will soon come to an end.

    I’m sorry for the loss of your Good Friend.

  • IanCourville

    It seems to me that a sheriff should be exempt from any reproach whatsoever. Mirkarimi really ought to change career and not embarrass the city any more then need be. There are plenty of qualified people without anger issues to fill this job. Why do we have to try and restore him. He messed up. No second chance in public office for such accusations. Nothing personal. It’s a matter of professionalism. Sheriff, chief of police, mayors, presidents all need to set a higher standard.

    • Daniel

      Exactly. Why? Only because Mr. Mirkarimi’s ego won’t let him let go.

      • Ralph

         And the big egos in the media and the city government won’t let him go either.

        I want to see Ed Lee and Mirkarimi and a TV news editor wrestle it out in the jello pit.

    • Jenny Sacco

      Believe me, there are plenty of angry, violent Sheriff’s in Northern California and all around the country.  In the past, all you had to do was read about Sheriff actions when there were civil rights issues/protests. Now you can click on that famous psycho in Arizona.

  • Mrs. Eccentric

    okay. Caller just calls the state bringing charges, instead of the victim, ‘immoral’. Mr. Mirkarimi responds by saying his wife didn’t want to press charges. No one (including, say, the host and moderator of the show) brings up the fact that many domestic violence victims don’t bring charges because of intimidation, fear, etc. and that bringing charges at the discretion of the DA is the policy of the jurisdiction of which Mr. Mikarimi wants to be sheriff? How is this integral duty of the position Mr. Mirkarimi wants to hold not pertinent to this discussion?

    If Mr. Mirkarimi is too emotional to even talk about this incident rationally, how are we supposed to believe that he’s not ‘too emotional’ about this topic to perform the duties of sheriff impartially and fairly?

    No one is entitled to hold any public office. The needs of the many experiencers of domestic abuse come ahead of any one person’s ‘entitlement’ to hold an elected position.

    • Blackluke8

      It’s all domestic abuse if you are an idiot female.  Let’s start automatically giving custody to fathers and see how fast women stop leveraging the legal system to their advantage.

      • Replier

        Again with the “idiot” female ad hominem attacks? In California neither fathers nor mothers get automatic custody. You cannot deprive a parent of contact simply because of gender. You need to read the laws rather than make assumptions about them and hurling insults at everyone you don’t agree with. If there is evidence of abuse, (physical, sex, drugs) or other criminal behaviors, yes, you can be denied contact on the grounds of “child endangerment.”

  • wade

    it sounds like you where trying to protect your son. is wrong for a man to protect his son.

  • Vjkrose

    What an outrage!  Clearly Ross M. has an image consultant helping him to shape a now more “tender” man who is apologizing for not being strong as a sheriff.  Ridiculous and sad that he is given this time on KQED.

    • Piggy

       Yeah! What’s next, is KQED going to give the Yale Chorus a chance to talk about how they were beat up in San Francisco a few years ago?! Why do victims _always_ want to complain??


      • Hank Chapot

         maybe because they’ve been victimized. Pinhead.

        • sage

          I thought the first 15 minutes were the classic “I apologize if you were hurt” verbiage where Ross’s comments used victimization language.  One more “I was turned inside out” remark and I would have required restorative justice.
          And Michael played the role of sympathetic counselor.

          BTW- it is not unusual for an abused partner to ask that charges not be filed, for reasons of fear, love or money or all three

        • Bill

           Only a true pinhead wouldn’t notice that that was SARCASM. He even wrote “sarcasm”.

  • Albert Andrews

    Ross, I’m so sorry for what you and your family had to go thru. I believe you will triumph in the end becuase rivals want to take advatange of this situation.

  • Wildergirl1

    This unfortunate situation still did what it was meant to do: Protect the Victem.
    I believe there are two sides to every story, but it is far better to err on the side of caution.
    After listening to Ross Mirkarimi I have concluded that he is a classic Sociopath. Plenty of smooth talking.
    It was All About Him. He can mimic any human emotion but he does not care a wit about anyone but himself.

    • blackluke8

      You are an idiot.  This man has been reduced to this because he understands that he cannot win in the court of public opinion, and his relationship with his son is in jeopardy.  Your perception is not reality you silly female.

      • RegularListener

        Again with the insults, calling people “idiot” because you do not like what they say. Try logic: you are confusing issues, his relationship with son is NOT determined by whether he is wins his current legal fight. What he is fighting for now is his job, which he refused to resign from, and that issue has nothing to do with custody/visitation. He already lost temporary contact with son because a judge thought he engaged in “child endangerment,” Winning the current case would not lead to automatic contact with son (visitation or custody). Like other parents temporarily denied contact because of a dtermination of “child endangerment” he would have to address that issue thru a different venue to regain contact.

  • Skuzmicki

    To remove the rightfully Elected Sheriff from Office
    is political and nothing else. California Government Code  Section 3060 allows for the removal of an
    elected official that has built in due process protections and a definition of
    “official misconduct” unlike our current City charter. This process
    uses a grand jury and then a superior court jury of his piers.   Why is
    that process not being used here? Because to do so would deny the Mayor and
    City Attorney the control of the process and not allow the recommendation to be
    made by their political appointees or allies, of which Sheriff Mirkarimi is

    Sheriff Mirkarimi, on behalf of San Francisco I apologize
    to you and your family. Please forgive us.

    • Rescue8

       You want to apologize to this cretin go ahead, but do not do so for SF. You will see soon (July) what SF thinks of this Man(?).

      • Blackluke8

        Right.  Because you are the emotional mob, and not a rational individual with any sense of perspective or morality.  Good job.

  • Ni

    has shown time and again that he’s committed to reducing recidivism. Ironically,
    as a former defendant in the criminal justice system, he’s now even more
    empathetic than before to the plight of those within the system. This
    makes him an even better Sheriff.  There’s
    no greater teacher than experience.

    • SF Resident

      If experience committing crime makes someone a better sheriff, your argument implies violent criminals, scam artists with no morals, etc. would make great sheriffs. Is that really what you believe? That the pre-req for sheriff shouldn’t be having gone through ‘peace officer’ training but rather having spent time locked up in jail? Certainy not a system I’d want in my community.

  • Pmo

    I’m a Ross supporter, voted for him, and in particular admire his support of improving mental health services in jail system. We need people with ideas like Ross in public life. But I can’t understand why – as sheriff – he would continue to demonize the neighbor in this case. If someone knocks on your door and tells you about a serious crime, you are supposed to not report it? Is this sort of message you want to send? Report and we’ll call you a “betrayer” on NPR. The neighbor as attorney argument makes no sense. Ross’s wife knows where to find a lawyer when she needs one. She went to the neighbor’s house because she was upset and afraid. If you can’t be honest now, Ross, how can I continue to support you?

  • Rene

    Since the criminal case ended,
    we have watched Mayor Lee, domestic violence advocates like Casa, and the majority
    of the print media collectively pass judgment, resulting in devastating
    consequences to the Mirkarimi family and the voters of San Francisco. The Mayor
    suspended the Sheriff without a hearing, without pay, and without any semblance
    of due process.  Now, the Board of
    Supervisors and the Ethics Commission are forced to publicly weigh in on a concluded
    criminal case that occurred before Ross was in office. Was the punishment laid
    out by the courts not enough?  The public
    humiliation not enough?  Is being denied contact
    with your wife and child not enough?  Are
    the progressive women in San Francisco going to sit back and watch as the Mayor
    and the press engage in a public lynching of a duly elected official in our

    • Daniel Danielson106

      Are you an idiot?  Public lynching … he plead guilty.

      • AT least I can spell

        “Pled guilty,” you idiot. Not “plead.” 

  • Rescue8

    That was one of the most disgusting “interviews” I have ever heard. Michael Krasny is no more a journalist than Ross is a Sheriff. You would not allow negative voices on nor did you read anything more tepid  than “Oh he did not mean to hurt her”, giving us what 1 or 2 minutes to call and kiss his “ring”.

    My god what has happened to KQED. Forget any more money from me during your next Beg-a-thon!

    Putrid, that is the feeling I am left with after wasting an hour as Michael skillfully allowed Mirk to just BS the listeners. But July is coming and if I could recall Krasny with Ross I would lead that charge.

    I gotta go wash this nasty feeling off me before I lose breakfast.

    • Billiam

      If you had any hard facts about Mirkarimi to jail him with, you would have been in court testifying. But you don’t.

      You want to believe he’s evil because it makes you feel better about yourself. Save us from your self-loathing please.

    • Blackluke8

      The worst part of you is that you actually believe that you are a better person for thinking the way you do. 

  • SF Resident

    What a joke that someone admittedly guilty of a crime, and charged with a violent crime, can hold the office of Sheriff. It makes a mockery of the Sheriff’s office and our jail system. This is not someone who deserves or will get much respect from those who report to him or those he’s responsible for punishing/rehabilitating.

    • Billiam

      One has to get one’s priorities straight though… First, convict Cheney of war crimes, then Darth Vader for destroying Alderaan, then convict the sheriffs, & finally expose Sponge Bob for his amphibious excesses.

  • Ms. Nice

    This guy is a total jackass- certainly not fit for public office. Have you noticed, it’s all about him….typical narcissist. If you ever had the unfortunate experience of knowing this uber-ambitious politician- you would know what I mean. I speak from first hand experience-he’s an A #1 A-HOLE.

    • Billiam

       Your just projecting your self-hate onto Ross.

    • Blackluke8

      You need a man.

  • RegularListener

    Regardless of the exact details of what transpired then & at other times, including with other women, it’s clear to me after listening to him that Merkarimi is in the WRONG JOB. Completely the wrong personality for his responsibilities: too much out-of-control anger, not enough assumption of responsibilty, cannot see anything about himself & his situation from others’ point of view, too much sense of entitlement to well-paid, high-profile job.  And as the rest of us lower on the totem pole are told all the time ‘you’re not entitled to specific job.’ The rest of us are asked to resign all the time for far lesser reasons, including what amount to no more than personality ‘fit.’ And unlike the rest of us, he has far, far more ability to get another high-paying job, probably even in city government if he wanted.Merkarimi may be right that an ethics charge is over the top, but he could have avoided that & taxpayer expense by resigning.  To those saying he’s a ‘progressive’ sherrif SF needs: SF has plenty of other ‘progressive’ sheriff candidates without the same personality problems.
    As someone who has been similarly shoved, pulled & roughly handled by a much larger, angry partner (but never yet slapped or beaten by same) I would like Merkarimi & others to understand that it is very traumatic to be manipulated by a larger adult that way when they’re angry. Please do not belittle that trauma & please do not attempt to physically manipulate smaller adults in that way when you’re angry. Because of this & general temper-control issues, my partner would not be a good sheriff candidate but it’s clear he does fine in a non-management desk job. Merkarimi should consider something similar.

  • Daniel Danielson106

    Michael did a good job, very high fidelity. Had he jumped on M. and read the negative comments, he would only provide the guy with more evidence that everyone is out there to get him. Instead, he allowed the city and all who listened to hear what kind of a specimen Mr. Mirkarimi is.

  • Daniel Danielson106

    The case is difficult to prove as any case of domestic abuse. Verbal/physical abuse is still a difficult judicial issue; many judges do not go for “he said, she said”. Many do not even admit that personality disorders are mental problems to be considered in court.

    This guy exhibits certain features of narcissistic/borderline/antisocial. Everyone is out there to get him, all conspiracies. He hints that “something happened” in three days after his wife talked to the neighbor, that there was a political backdrop to it. But then he is asked “What kind of political issues might have been involved?”.
    I was all ears thinking “now we finally know”. So? All bullshit in reply. not a single fact or any piece of information.

    I support Mayor Lee’s decision. That circus has to be stopped. But wait a second. The guy actually plead guilty. All that public humiliation to keep the job, to squeeze himself in. The same thing now. I was amazed that he was on the radio. He won’t stop at anything to get what he wants.

    The legal side of it is pretty much clarified.
    Now, all we are hearing is a big LITTLE girl. Or a very dangerous socio/psychopath who is raging inside while restraining himself trying to sweet-talk the public into giving him what he wants.

    People with disorders are VERY crafty, they are VERY skilled in covering up and distorting. They are MANIPULATORS by nature.

  • Daniel Danielson106

    I support Mayor Lee’s decision. That circus has to be stopped. But wait a
    second. The guy actually plead guilty. All that public humiliation to
    keep the job, to squeeze himself in. The same thing now. I was amazed
    that he was on the radio. He won’t stop at anything to get what he

    The legal side of it is pretty much clarified.

    Now, all we are hearing is a big LITTLE girl. Or a very dangerous
    socio/psychopath who is raging inside while restraining himself trying
    to sweet-talk the public into giving him what he wants.

    People with disorders are VERY crafty, they are VERY skilled in covering up and distorting. They are MANIPULATORS by nature.

    • Blackluke8

      So are you.  STFU

  • Daniel Danielson106

    Domestic abuse cases are not easy to prove. Many judges completely dismiss emotional abuse as abuse, whatsoever. But this guy confessed and plead guilty.

    Now, he exhibits the features of narcissistic/borderline/sociopath. It is all conspiracies to him that won’t let him reveal his true shiny self. Everybody is out there to get him. “Something happened in those three days” hinting some murky political intrigue.

    But Michael asked him “What could be the political motives?” I got all ears thinking “Oh, good, now we know the truth”. What did we hear? All bull-shit. Not a single fact or any piece of information. He was not able to even come up with any distortion about who was after him and why.

    Please … it is a matter of psychotherapy, not public service.

  • Marge

    For the first time I tuned out of Forum this morning. I can’t see the value of giving voice to Murikami’s whining.  He needs to leave the job quietly and hopefully with a bit of dignity. San Francisco doesn’t need another angry, 
    violent peace officer.

  • SF Resident

    As a East Coaster that now calls SF my permanent home, I am continually amazed at the low quality of the political class in my beloved city. Look, politicians are all narcissists. That is why they are politicians. 

    Case in point: this alternatively sad and enraging spectacle of Ross Mirkarimi on Forum. He shows such a lack of self-knowledge of how his behavior precludes him from being Sheriff. Most of this disqualifying behavior happened AFTER the charges; at almost every key moment, he has made decisions that show that he does not know how to act properly as a public figure, much less an key law enforcement official.  Listening carefully to his legalistic responses to the most heartfelt of questions (the trial is over, man) it is clear that he is only thinking about himself. I was waiting for the profuse apologies to the people of SF for putting them through this, and never heard it. In the final analysis, as was pointed out by viewers during the show, he is only thinking about himself. 
    Sure, this domestic disturbance played out in a too-public way, but that is the point; you have to be able to deal with it. The strange hyper-PC hothouse of San Francisco politics made this unfold the way it did, but honestly, only in SF would a guy like Ross ever get elected Sheriff.  He is not the first Sheriff to have personal problems with the law, but he has simply lost all credibility to  do the job effectively. 

    • Fredd

      No, it’s worse on the East Coast. You do know that Rudy Giuliani comes from a mafia family, right?

  • BJAdams1241

    My public perception of Mr. Mirakarimi WAS a favorable one until this sad event unraveled during the end of year holidays. The publication of pictures of his wife bruised and distress, unfortunately was evidence enough of hypothetical events leading to her condition. Therefore, as the chief PEACE OFFICER representing the County of San Francisco, in my modest opinion, he is patently disqualified to assume this office. I am sorry for him. I could not serve on a jury of his peers and be impartial. He is guilty of spousal abuse at least but maybe could plead to lesser charges and be acquitted.

  • Sean_og

    I am a San Francisco native and I am embarrassed by Mr. Mirkarimi.  All he is trying to do is keep his $199,000 a year job and all the benefits it entails.  He should be a man, take proper responsibility for what he did and do the right thing – resign.  I’m sure he’ll land with a nice cushy job somewhere. 

    • Blackluke8

      Very easy to say when you aren’t the one trying to keep some level of a relationship with your son. You are seeing the injustice of the family court system writ large.

      • Replier

        You are confused: What he is fighting now is a misconduct charge, so he can retain his job.  Even if he wins that case, he would NOT get automatic custody or visitation with son as that’s determined in a different venue, and has nothing to do with whether he remains sheriff. It has to do with whether he goes through counseling & seems likely to engage in “child engagement” again.

  • Bbradley

    so is anyone really buying this stuff? He was shown in court to be a repeat woman abuser and THAT is why he pled out. He did not bruise her arm in the car. He did that in the house and that is why she rean out screaming. He did this to at least two other girlfriends. One testified with documented evidence to Judge Wong that he bruised her. Anther Ex sent an email detailing his abuse. The DA’s office interviewed yet another ex who stated he emotionally abused her on a nearly daily basis. He has repeatedly claimed innocence and when challenged on it clammed up. He was given 2 separate opportunities to tell his side to Mayor lee. He refused. When he gave his press conference during his suspension notice, he was directly asked by a reporter in front of the cameras and bank of mics to tell his side. He refused. He was then asked if he put the bruise on his wife’s arm, he said “you need to ask her”. When will the press (yes I blame you) get a clue and stop propagating this guy and giving him an opportunity to continue to make false claims.

    • Blackluke8

      Yeah because it’s so difficult to bruise a woman’s arm.  Holy Christ. Are women this pathetic that if a man grabs their arm they need to raise the dead to magnify the insult to the level of a galactic issue? I didn’t realize that women in SF were so pathetic. I thought you were equals. My mistake.

  • reggie

    That is the whole truth and for those who don’t want to believe it, that is because you just don’t like Ross.  You believe what you want to believe — it just makes you feel better to be ugly and to criticize.

    The man is intelligent and sensitive and he has been in shock and in grief for over four months.  For those of you who doubt him, shame on you — you have no heart and you cannot hear the truth.

    • george

      it has nothing to do with liking the guy or disliking him. He abused his authority and abused multiple ex girlfriends. and then lied about it.

  • Daphne Blumenthal

    I think Krasny did the right thing by interviewing him. Mirkarimi’s wife supports Mirkarimi. This all went down because his wife Eliana was betrayed by her lawyer –  It was a private argument, in their van, with their toddler present. A very painful situation but it never should have gone public. Not allowing 2 consenting, married adults to see each other  reeks of totalitarianism. The Police State is telling Eliana it knows better than her what’s good for her. If she had brought forward the accusations it would be different, but she only recorded the incident for a potential custody battle, not to bring down her husband completely. Therefore, I believe he should keep his elected position.

    • Daniel Danielson106

      So, the fact that he threatened her with his power and connections to take her son away if she does not obey is not a circumstance for you?  He is a typical abuser by the circumstances of the case he HIMSELF admitted.

  • Lougordon05

    I see so many ignorant people posting on these threads. wake up. this incident was unfortunate and clearly deserved to be told by the ELECTED SHERIFF and his wife. 

  • Lougordon05
    • Rescue8

       When folks like yourself work with half truths we end up getting sent to 7 year old articles likes yours. However, what I did not see from you was the story from her husband where he says he was not assaulted and he entered detox immediately.

      The 2 are nothing alike and as a retired FF, I have no real joy for that woman so believe me if I could equate the two I would do so.

  • Disgusted Listener

    Disgusted by the on-air love fest between Michael and Ross.  No probing questions only justification.  

  • DangerNurse

    What an irresponsible and insensitive show! Why should KQED be a mouthpiece for an abusive narcissist who’s only real remorse is for the damage to his career? I’m canceling my membership and support of KQED.

    • Eric Westby

      You’re welcome to do whatever you want with your money, but couldn’t it simply be that Mr. Krasny’s intent was to, as the saying goes, give Mirkarimi enough rope to hang himself?

      I think you’re missing the point of what Forum is about if you expected relentlessly harsh and combative questioning. That’s more 60 Minutes’ style.

  • tony

    Did he supress evidence or dissuade witnesses?

    • Billiam

       Let’s get our priorities straight. Ed Lee OK’d the Homeland Security crackdown on Occupy SF, which “bruised” and indeed battered far more people than Ross ever will.

      Ed Lee is the big time thug, Ross is at worst a tiny one.

  • Hibiscus3insf

    Thank you for an opportunity to hear from Ross M–i don’t hear the arrogance that so many are citing. It’s disappointing that he did not have a fair trial and couldn’t possibly have received one in this area. He has essentially been tried in the Chronicle with insanely sensationalized reporting. And that most commenters believe those stories to be truthful is most disheartening. I’m not sure why people are so loathsome and hateful. 

  • P Mojabi

    IMHO he tried to concealed the truth which is kinda what ticked off most of the folks. I hope he tries real hard to gain the respect of the community.he has got a lot to do to fix his image.  Interview is really interesting, usually making it emotional like this can distract thoughts and force a sympathy 

  • Joe

    Ross is the perfect victim for the many constituencies in SF, most of which I support but when given the opportunity, the complicity of cowardly public officials such as the Mayor, and the attack opportunity by the local media, Ross has been dragged through the mud yet manages to maintain sanity and a willingness to continue to fight the above. The man had a domestic crisis, let’s accept these happen very, very often and are not subject to media and law enforcement. The man was elected to public office and there is patent opportunism by his political adversaries and enemies, with all sorts of advocacy groups and individuals giving aid and comfort to these political agendas. Ross must have generated enemies during his terms of public service and he should face them in an election, not in public smear and retribution. Kafka would be smiling …

  • Jim

    As a fan of Forum and Mr. Krasney, I was disappointed by Mr. Krasney’s poor job of reporting today. He came across as biased in favor of Mr. Mirkarimi. I suspect Mr. Mirkarimi agreed to appear today because he knew this would be the case. Sorry day for KQED.

    • Satcong

       Absolutely Jim, it was nauseating.

    • Blackluke8

      How do you not support Mr. Mirkarimi?! At least Mr. Krasney still has his balls…

    • Donna dlP

       Indeed.  I was so disappointed in Krasny today.

    • JCW

      Just because Krasny acted cordially and did not display the vindictive vitriol of the lynch mob does not make him biased. He presented both sides and let Ross have his say, which he not had until now.
      Sorry you didn’t get the big schadenfreude payoff you were hoping for.

  • Ann

    If he really cared about his wife and son, he would resign and put all his effort and time in creating a better marriage and family life.

  • Dfkdfjdl

    Judge James Joseph McBride of San Francisco — who was also the presiding judge for the city and county of San Francisco — was arrested, charged with crimes relating to spousal battery (under far more serious facts than Mirkarimi); he was allowed to return to his position and was elected to be San Francisco’s presiding judge by the other judges.  Here is the description of (and link to) the event by SF Weekly I dug up from one of the few newspapers that reported it:      “On May 2, McBride was arrested on one felony count of spousal abuse. The district attorney later charged the judge with three misdemeanor counts of battery and domestic violence, and one count of intimidating a witness. McBride has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He faces up to two years in jail, the loss of his seat on the bench, and the revocation of his license to practice law.” S.F. Weekly.   Now ask yourselves if Mirkarimi is being treated equally.  

    • Dfkdfjdl

      After beating his wife, Judge James McBride was violating the due process rights of people in his court … and yet he was elected by the other judges in SF to be the presiding judge and kept his job: “Judge McBride engaged in the disregard of the due process rights of the parties involved in the cases constituted an abuse of his judicial authority and warrants discipline.”  California Judicial Ethics Decision.

      • Dfkdfjdl

        And here is how the San Francisco District Attorneys’ Office operates: “San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris’ office violated defendants’ rights by hiding damaging information.”  S.F. Gate, quoting the Court.     

  • Blackluke8

    This is the most disgusting travesty I have ever hear.  The city of SF has managed to completely neuter this man by leveraging his desire to support and see his son (he couldn’t care less about his worthless wife it’s plain) against him.  More proof that SF has been occupied by idiot females and the pansies that enable them.

    • Replier

      Again with the insults like “idiot females” & “pansies.” Try sticking to facts rather than ad hominem. What he is doing, fighting a misconduct charge at taxpayer expense so he can keep his well-paid job, has nothing to do with contact with his son since that is dertermined in a different venue (family court services). Even if he wins the misconduct case & gets his job back, he does not get automatic custody/visitation, as they would have to do with whether one underwent counseling , whther a judge thought you would engage in “child endangerment”  again or not.

  • Blackluke8

    Anybody who has ever been through the family courts (and the extra nuance that a false physical violence charge brings) will recognize this as a complete and utter bastardization of justice.  This man is a eunuch thanks to the disgusting logic of communicating in a feminized society.

  • Something is rotten in the state of San Francisco.  There is the surface truth and then there is the real truth – what is really going on. The surface is being discussed in most of the media. The underlying real truth involves the self serving political agenda being executed behind the scenes by the political powers in this town:

    —Property Developers > Willie Brown + Rose Pak > Ed Lee

    These powers are attempting to disenfranchise the will of our electorate by exploiting this incident, blown all out of portion, to remove an elected official from office, an official that is progressive and who is not under the yoke and control of this political cabal. The crime Ross was convicted of resulted from failing to turn around his car at his wife’s request.  There is more to it which is explained in detail in Michael Krazney’s interview of Ross.

    These financial powers want their own puppet, not a free and innovative thinker and certainly not someone as progressive as Ross – someone likely to rock the boat, someone who will challenge and even change the system.

    They want a Sheriff’s department to quickly carry out homeowner and renter evictions without question and thus serve the needs of the large banks, property developers and landowners. These are the same one percenters who helped finance the legally questionable “Run Ed Run” campaign and then Lee’s main campaign. No, Ross is far too disadvantages and unprofitable to their interests.

    If you want to see the truth, follow the money.

    • Satcong

       Ross, Ross, Ross, ya gotta stop leaving these posts all over. You are dead meat to most of us here in SF.

  • Mattobosino

    The guy has anger issues, grabbed his wife’s arm in a difficult moment, bruised it.  Not cool.  Not good for anybody– wife, husband, child.  Doesn’t mean he can’t be a good sheriff.  And after this, if he can keep it together with his wife, it can end up being an experience that becomes a turning point for him and the relationship.  The people elected him to be a sherif, so respect the democratic process– otherwise it’s a political coup d’etat. Going through this experience doesn’t seem to detract from being a sherif, might give him special insight, empathy, and humility.  
    If a woman grabbed a man’s arm during an argument and bruised his arm, would she be charged for domestic violence?
    The wife didn’t press charges.  Feels the intrusion of the state into her family matters is way out of order.

  • Bill W.

    Your explanation is way too late Ross.
    “I merely guided her arm into the van”- thanks for the clarification.
    This entire ordeal is an excruciating ordeal for all citizens to listen to.
    Thank you Michael Krasny for adding a tanker truck of gasoline to this smoldering firestorm.

  • Bill W.

    Ross- I think you should withdraw your plea of false imprisonment and allow a trial- so you may completely vindicate yourself and tell your side of the story like you did on air here on KQED.

    • JCW

      good point…if he believes in the system like he says he does…but it’s got to be hard to trust after being smeared in the court of ‘public opinion’…

      can he withdraw the plea?

  • Donna dlP

     I know almost nothing about Mirkarimi’s politics, although from what I understand he is (for the most part) a political progressive, as am I.  What I do know is that this guy comes across as a classic self-pitying, rationalizing batterer of women.  Those of you who are defending him had better hope your daughters don’t end up with someone like this man.  I am appalled that Michael Krasny soft-balled this interview as he did.  And, no, I do not care in the slightest if his case was amped up because of who he his, etc. etc..  That’s not the point.  What I care about is that he assaulted his wife.  Period.  Full stop.  Mirkarimi, Krasny, & many of you are is speaking about this as if it is a “family matter” (it isn’t) or a “political conspiracy” (it is only if he didn’t strong-arm his wife, which he did).  It is a criminal matter.  Let me repeat that: it is a criminal matter.  And the fact that we’re pretending that it isn’t speaks to the level of misogyny that exists in our hearts and our heads and our culture.  Shame on Mirkarimi; shame on Krasny & KQED; shame on every single one of you who finds it more convenient to pretend like this is no big deal.  I pray that none of you have daughters.

    • JCW

      His domestic crisis was a big deal – to Ross and his wife. The ‘shame’ should lie on the political opportunists and hyperbolic reactionaries like yourself. The general state of phony outrage is based on hearsay.  
      It’s a sad, opportunistic smear campaign; Ross made mistakes, but not the mistakes the lynch mob want to believe.
      As for any wrongdoing by Krasny or KQED: Ridiculous. 

      You obviously have a chip on your shoulder; get over it.

      • Donnadlp

         Oh, poor JCW, if I cared even slightly what people like you thought, I’m sure I’d find that devastating.  But since I don’t…

        It’s pretty simple, actually — chip or no chip.  You cannot lay hands on another person just because you’re upset, or just because your child is
        upset (although there’s zero evidence that Mikarimi’s child was — that “guiding her back to her seat” story is weak beyond words).
        You cannot lay hands on another person, period — neither spouse, child, nor stranger. Certainly not someone physically
        weaker than you & certainly not hard enough to leave a mark. Even if you are in an upsetting situation. Even if someone is
        “pushing your buttons.”
        You cannot, for instance, lay hands on your
        child (children and teens being notorious & constant button-pushers, by the way) hard enough
        to leave a mark — and if you do, you deserve a child abuse charge.
        Same with adults, be they family members or strangers, be they saints or jerks. It’s very simple, and it’s the law.  You have to learn to control your violent impulses; it’s part of being an adult human being.It is absolutely wonderful that Mirkarimi is losing his job.  Although we share many political beliefs, I am thrilled.  It’s just a shame he isn’t in prison.  Perhaps next time he injures someone (and there will be a next time) he will be.

        • JCW

          More sanctimony and phony outrage…He should be in jail? seriously? that’s nuts. how Draconian. Despite your arrogance and ignorant presumptions, you don’t really know what happened, so you’re just projecting your own shortcomings…you’re just another sheep in the lynch mob…do you prefer a torch or a pitchfork?
          Poor Donna, I really hope you get the therapy you’ve been needing to help get past your misdirected anger.  Good luck, I know it must be difficult for you. This anger you are feeling now, though temporarily empowering, is causing you more harm in the long run.

          • Donnadlp

             Pitchfork.  They’re so shiny.

  • Sophiaelizabeth

    I am newly married and have had arguments – very heated arguments with my husband – as we have figured out HOW to relate and communicate with each other.  We are growing and are doing better.  

    I think this whole situation has been completely blown out of proportion in a city that is first and foremost, political. 

  • Adrian_Waller

    He said he had never called the incident a “private matter” or a “family matter.”

    But he did. On inauguration day, he smiled and told the press this was a “family matter” and a “personal matter.”

    He has succeeded in deluding himself.

  • Walk1947

    Something is wrong with a law that is created to protect victims, then is used to silence the victim, without regard to a proper inquiry to examine the emotional state and ability of the victim to decide for herself, whether or not, she needs the support to continue her case. Women advocates for victims rights are disempowering women. I recognize that there are many cases where there is a need for intervention by a third party intervention! This case warrants a serious re evaluation. The behavior by the third party intervention in this case, has become what I feel is a hysterical reaction, by various parties dressed as do gooders to create an almost lynch mob mentality to create a worst case scenario, toss it to the wolves, and let everyone have at it! Many say that Mr. Mirkarami is an embarrassment to the city; I believe the media has shown our city as an example of people behaving badly. The need to lynch this man, without any thought to the reality of the complexities of a relationship, are mean spirited and unwarranted. Why do you want to believe that this man deserves to be ousted without due process of inquiry. Why do you continue to call for his head? Why are so few speaking as the voice of the thousands who voted him into office?

  • Kbin

    I was truly listening with an open mind but as soon as he said “that was when she got bruised” my mind was made up.  She didn’t ‘get bruised’ he bruised her.  I am still pissed that someone in this case is able to force a restraining order on this family when the wife didn’t ask for it while the poor woman in Petaluma gets killed after her restraining order was denied!! where is the justice in that…

    • JCW

      That is one of the best observations made here. …but I’m still siding with Ross…I know the guy is a fighter and right now he is under attack and on the defensive. There may be some denial, but seriously, what a crappy situation to be in.
      As far as the bruising goes… I caught my wife in a fall last year and grabbed her in the same spot …she didn’t even notice the bruise until I noticed it a couple days later and it was a whopper. I never really thought of her as the type to bruise easy. Anyway, I find it really hard to label the guy as abusive and certainly not a wife beater.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor