Saturday, May 26, 2012

D.A.'s attempt to destroy Mirkarimi continues

Photo by Luke Thomas for Fog City Journal

The ongoing attempt to destroy Ross Mirkarimi hasn't exactly been our political community's finest hour. Supervisor Olague's opportunism is well-known, and this episode has done nothing to demonstrate that she has a political spine. Mayor Lee's political ascent to the mayor's office began with a famous lie, and his handling of the Mirkarimi case shows that he's a liar and a bully. The domestic violence "community" put up billboards convicting Mirkarimi before the District Attorney had even filed charges.

As far as I can tell, only Channel 7 News reported yesterday's shameful episode in this political melodrama. Mirkarimi asked the court to allow him to talk to his wife, who is in Venezuela, on the phone. The D.A. opposed the request:

Prosecutors say if there's any change in the restraining order, they would first want Lopez to appear in court under oath, requesting that the order be lifted. "Forcing our family to have to pay $3,000, to fly back here and be in person just to have phone contact? This is a choking strategy," Mirkarimi said.

How exactly does this contemptible pettiness serve the public interest? Does the city really think that Mirkarmi would abuse his wife over the phone? Mirkarimi is right. He and his family are now just collateral damage in a case that's about politics, not domestic abuse. Neither Mayor Lee nor D.A. Gascon can admit at this point that the case against Mirkarimi is overblown, which means that it must move through the oddly sluggish Ethics Commission process and then to the Board of Supervisors for a final decision.

There are already indications that District Attorney Gascon is moral and intellectual midget. He delayed filing charges against the cyclist who killed a pedestrian last July until after the election last November. And he apparently has his finger to the wind again on the latest case of a cyclist killing a pedestrian.

Gascon's press release after Mirkarimi's plea bargain last March provides more evidence of his intellectual deficiencies:

At a press conference, District Attorney George Gascón said it was his duty to the City and County of San Francisco to uphold the law, regardless of who violates it and while the outcome of this case may have disappointed the ideologues on both sides, that many more San Franciscans, including domestic violence advocates and experts, have expressed their strong support for the District Attorney’s office and the handling of this case.
“It is my sincere hope that with this plea there will be more peace between Ross and Ms. L and that they can move forward on a healthier path,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “My primary concern has always been the safety of Ms. L and her son. I am certain that, if he embraces his responsibility, the batterer’s counseling we have mandated for Mr. Mirkarimi will help him.”

Right. It's all about "helping" Mirkarimi and his wife---Gascon couldn't bring himself to use her name---achieve "more peace" in their relationship. Meanwhile they can't be allowed to talk on the phone! Note too that the political context for the case is about "ideologues on both sides." This is dumb, mealy-mouthed stuff.

Interesting to note that the same Assistant District Attorney, Omid Talai, who helped screw up the first cyclist/pedestrian case, is also working on the politicized vendetta against Mirkarimi.

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