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SF sheriff sworn in amid domestic violence inquiry

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POSTED January 8, 2012 7:55 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco’s new sheriff has been sworn into office amid controversy over a domestic abuse investigation.

Former supervisor Ross Mirkarimi took the oath of office during a private ceremony at City Hall Saturday night, spokesman Jim Stearns said. The event was previously planned for Sunday morning but was changed because of what Stearns termed “scheduling issues.”

A public swearing-in ceremony was still planned for 2 p.m Sunday at the city’s War Memorial Veterans Building.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco judge who was set to administer the oath during Sunday’s event has declined to do so.

In an email to the San Francisco Chronicle Superior Court Judge Katherine Feinstein said she didn’t want to create a potential future legal conflict should a case involving Mirkarimi be brought to her court.

Feinstein is the daughter of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Mirkarimi is under investigation over allegations that he was involved in a domestic violence incident with his wife, Eliana Lopez, a charge that she has denied.

According to a police affidavit, a neighbor of the couple said Lopez told her she sustained a bruise on her upper right arm when Mirkarimi grabbed her on New Year’s Eve.

Ivory Madison also told police she videotaped the injury at the request of Lopez and exchanged text messages with her about the alleged domestic violence, the affidavit said.

San Francisco police turned their findings over to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office late Friday, police spokesman Albie Esparza said. Officials in the DA’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Sunday.

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