The documents (after the jump) have been served and Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is officially suspended without pay. The key to Mayor Ed Lee’s case for removing the sheriff from office–which now must go before the Ethics Commission and the Board of Supervisors–is an allegation that Mirkarimi’s ability to do his job has been fundamentally compromised by his conviction for false imprisonment:
Sheriff Mirkarimi’ s actions undermine the integrity of the Office of Sheriff. He misused the power and status accompanying his public office. He committed unlawful acts of violence and falsely imprisoned his wife -ultimately resulting in his own imprisonment. This misconduct is fundamentally incompatible with holding the Office of Sheriff, the chief elected law enforcement officer in the City and County of San Francisco and constitutes official misconduct under Section 15.105 of the Charter.
Interestingly, the charges of domestic violence and child endangerment–for which Mirkarimi was not convicted–are mentioned as reasons for his removal alongside his guilty plea to false imprisonment.
By Nicole Jones
A lawsuit filed Wednesday by lawyers for Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and two other nonprofits aims to protect the voting rights of thousands of convicted California felons.
Currently, convicted felons who are serving time in state prison or who are on parole cannot vote under California law. But the lawsuit, filed at the First District Court of Appeal, claims this does not apply to felons who serve their sentences in county jails. Last fall, California realigned the criminal justice system, transferring the custody of low-level felons to county supervision to help reduce overcrowding in state prisons.
Sasha Abramsky takes a look at the criminal justice lobbying network in a new report.
In 2012, a big shift will hit California’s electoral system: open primaries. Open primaries, brought in by voters through 2010′s Proposition 14, will allow the top two vote-getters in any primary for state office to advance to the general election, which means we could see districts with two Republicans or two Democrats competing in a general election. California’s biggest lobbying groups, among them some of the biggest law enforcement groups in the country, are grappling with what this new system will mean to them, in a state that’s undergoing a shift in how the public views our traditionally tough-on-crime approach. I sat down with Sasha Abramsky, a reporter for the Nation, Rolling Stone, and other publications, to talk about how this change might play out. Abramsky published a report earlier this week with the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice called “Sacramento’s K-Street Lobbyists: The criminal justice inner circle.” In that piece, Abramsky analyzed the influence of California’s largest criminal justice lobbys, like the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), and how they’re approaching this shift in electoral politics.
San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos reflects on his runner-up showing in the San Francisco mayor’s race. He also discusses how ranked-choice voting worked out in last week’s election, and describes his efforts to bring more lower-income and middle-class values to City Hall. Avalos also speaks about issues of the Occupy movement.
PORAC has one of the largest legal defense funds in country--and contributed to the defense of Johannes Mehserle.
With so much focus on the California Correctional Peace Officers Association as a political juggernaut, another influential law enforcement group in Sacramento seldom gets its due: the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC).
PORAC came to some Bay Area people’s attention during the trial of Johannes Mehserle, the former BART officer convicted of involuntary manslaughter for killing Oscar Grant. PORAC’s legal defense fund, apparently the largest such fund in the country, covered Mehserle’s legal bills.
Oakland City Attorney
A loaded .38 caliber revoler with "NSO" and "Ice City" markings presented as evidence by Oakland Police in the North Side Oakland gang injunction
An Oakland Police Department report detailing a rise in violent crime in the North Oakland gang injunction area was met with skepticism by the City Council’s Public Safety Committee last night, as support for the anti-gang tactic appears to falter. The North Side Oakland injunction was approved by an Alameda County judge in June 2010, restricting the movements and associations of 15 named individuals deemed to be gang members by Oakland Police.
According to the report, violent crimes such as murder, aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon and robberies increased by 43 percent from prior to the injunction.
“These are not good statistics,” said Councilmember Patricia Kernighan, the chair of the Public Safety Committee, echoing the remarks of the majority of the crowd in attendance.
OPD Lieutenant Freddie Hamilton presented the report to the committee, reaffirming Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan’s support for gang injunctions in spite of the rise in crime. In the report, OPD attribute the crime spike to the city’s decision to lay off 80 officers and disband the Problem-Solving Officer program in mid-2010. PSOs were critical to the initial gang injunction strategy, as they would have been responsible for presenting violations of the injunction to the City Attorney’s office for charging.
For those who haven’t yet voted, we can’t tell you who to vote for, but we can give you a quick primer on each candidate running for office in San Francisco. Summaries–compiled by myself and KALW’s Ben Trefny–below. Candidates appear in the same order you’ll find them in on the ballot.
As you may have noticed from the piles of candidate flyers that arrive in your mailbox every day, or the swarms of politicians hovering around Muni stops and social protests, it’s election season.
SHARMIN BOCK: Hi there, I’m Sharmin Bock, I’m running for DA. Good morning, I’m Sharmin Bock, I’m running for DA…
Now, we’ll turn to the most important local election that very few are paying attention to. Last year, Kamala Harris was elected to statewide office, which meant leaving her post as San Francisco’s district attorney. That caused outgoing Mayor Gavin Newsom to do something unprecedented: he appointed his police chief to replace her. Now, to defend his seat, District Attorney George Gascon will have to fend off four competitors. I sat down with KALW’s Ben Trefny to discuss the candidates.