SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A lawyer for San Francisco's sheriff said Tuesday he has no plans to resign despite the threat of an ethics probe over a domestic violence case.
Attorney Lidia Stiglich told The Associated Press that Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was asked by Mayor Ed Lee to step down after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of false imprisonment.
"I'm not aware of any plans for the sheriff to resign," Stiglich said. "I'm disappointed it's proceeding in this fashion. I think it should be left to the voters."
The charge stemmed from a New Year's Eve dispute with his wife in which her arm was bruised.
The sheriff met with Lee after his sentencing Monday. During that discussion, Lee gave him 24 hours to resign or face an ethics charge that could result in his removal from office.
Lee has declined to comment on the matter but said he would make an announcement later Tuesday.
A judge sentenced Mirkarimi to three years of probation and ordered him to attend anti-domestic violence counseling for a year.
Mirkarimi entered the plea in exchange for the dropping of three other misdemeanor charges of domestic violence, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.
Lee can start the process of removing Mirkarimi, but it would take the votes of nine of the 11 members of the Board of Supervisors to accomplish that task. The matter would first be referred to the city's Ethics Commission if Lee decides to push for removal.
After the brief meeting at City Hall on Monday, Mirkarimi left the mayor's office via a back door and a rarely used staircase to get to his office. He said he had no comment when tracked down by reporters.
The plea deal was struck as a jury was picked for a trial that promised to embarrass the sheriff with testimony about infidelity, his temper and other intimate details.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said the false imprisonment charge was a domestic violence plea and the conviction was just as serious as the charges that were dropped.
Under the plea agreement, Mirkarimi must pay $590 in fines, serve probation, spend a year in a domestic violence intervention program, take parenting classes and do community service.
The district attorney said Mirkarimi will be barred from carrying a gun until a judge lifts a stay-away order still in place that prevents the sheriff from seeing his wife without court permission. Gascon said that order could stay in place for the entire three years of probation.
Mirkarimi also said he was undergoing counseling to address "my arrogance and anger management issues" and reiterated his advocacy against domestic violence while serving two-terms on the Board of Supervisors.