Thursday, August 16, 2012
Scenes from the Mirkarimi Hearing
The last day of the Ethics Commission circus around ousted Sheriff-elect Ross Mirkarimi started this morning. There were final arguments by Mayor Lee's attorneys, who are paid for by San Francisco taxpayers whether you agree with them or not, and Mirkarimi's lawyers, who are working pro bono to ward off a perceived injustice.
Then it was time for three-hours plus of two-minute public comments, which just finished at 2:22. The first public commenter was Mirkarimi's mother above, who had arrived from the East Coast and spent the hearing sitting next to Mirkarimi's wife, Eliana.
The commenters were mostly supporters of Mirkarimi, though their reasons were all over the map. Emil Lawrence, above, who wrote The Night Cabbie column for the San Francisco Examiner from 1996 to 2004, saw the malevolent hand of "Hearst's Houdini," Phil Bronstein, all over the story.
There was also a self-identified ex-girlfriend of Mirkarimi above who recounted what a horrible, abusive person he was, and how he would kick her out of bed, calling her "psycho bitch." She still goes to the same gym as Mirkarimi, she testified, "and I don't feel safe." (Update: The woman turned out to be a complete fraud.)
A consortium from "the Domestic Violence Community," which seems to employ a huge army of women in San Francisco, showed up at noon in front of City Hall for a demonstration demanding that Mirkarimi be ousted from his job. The fact that their programs' individual funding is determined by Mayor Lee's office probably had nothing to do with this.
Afterwards, they queued up at the end of the line for the Ethics Commission hearing, which was being held in a small, second-floor hearing room.
Krissy Keefer, above left, a lesbian feminist choreographer in the Mission District who has been creating work since the 1970s, has been appalled by how the "Domestic Violence Community" has been co-opted by the Mayor's Office, and it was amusing to see her suddenly surrounded by that same community. Keefer ushered all of them to stand in front of her in line. "I think I want to have the last word here," she explained, and when she did finally give her two-minute public comment, she started with an analogy to Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible, with their hysterical girls at the Salem Witch Trial seeing an imaginary bird in the rafters.
Outside, the Domestic Violence demonstrators had been supplanted by Ross Mirkarimi supporters who were marching around in a circle on the sidewalk. At the present moment, everyone has gone to lunch and the Commission will deliberate this afternoon and evening on what they are going to be sending to the Board of Supervisors, who will have the final say in this circus, unless an appeals court throws out that decision.