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Ross Mirkirimi Faces Questions Of Domestic Abuse On Eve Of Being Sworn In As Sheriff

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Flickr: photokitty07
Flickr: photokitty07

Only days before being sworn in as the next Sheriff of San Francisco, former Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi has become the subject of a domestic abuse investigation.

The allegations stem from a New Year's Eve incident with his wife, former Venezuelan soap opera star Eliana Lopez.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Matier & Ross report:

According to others familiar with the investigation, Lopez went to a neighbor after the couple got into a heated argument over the New Year's holiday and Lopez confided in her.

The neighbor, in turn, called police, telling them that Lopez had indicated the alleged incident might be part of a larger pattern of abuse.

Both Mirkarimi and Lopez have denied any abuse took place and insisted their neighbor was overreacting in contacting police.

"What is happening here is wrong," said Lopez in a statement released to the San Francisco Examiner through Mirkarimi campaign manager Jim Stearns. "I have absolutely no complaint against my husband. My husband has never been abusive to me. Ross and I are committed to our marriage, our son and our family."

Police have stated that Lopez, who met Mirkarimi at an environmental conference in Brazil in 2008, has been reluctant to talk openly about the incident.

The Associated Press reports:

District Attorney George Gascon confirmed that Mirkarimi...is under investigation for domestic violence but declined to elaborate.

"We're still waiting for the police investigation, and once the investigation is presented to us, we'll evaluate as we would do with any other case involving domestic violence," Gascon said Friday.

As of yet, no charges have been filed.

Mirakimi, a former investigator in the District Attorney's office who is also a graduate of the police academy and was a co-founder of the California Green Party, is set to officially take over from retiring long-time sheriff Michael Hennessey in a ceremony this Sunday.

Correction: The article originally stated that Mirkarimi worked as a prosecutor in the D.A.'s office instead of an investigator.

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Filed by Aaron Sankin