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San Francisco mayor suspends sheriff

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 10:46 PM EDT, Tue March 20, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mayor Edwin Lee says he is charging the sheriff with official misconduct
  • CNN affiliate KGO: The sheriff denies the charge and refuses to resign
  • Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning his wife
  • Lee says he is suspending the sheriff and has appointed a replacement

(CNN) -- San Francisco's mayor said Tuesday he was suspending the city's sheriff, who pleaded guilty earlier this month to falsely imprisoning his wife.

"After a careful review of the city charter and the evidence before me, I am suspending and formally charging Ross Mirkarimi with official misconduct," Mayor Edwin Lee said in a statement.

But the embattled sheriff refused to resign Tuesday, CNN affiliate KGO reported, saying that he had not committed "official misconduct" and that he looked forward to making his case to the city's ethics committee.

Mirkarimi signed the plea deal earlier this month, and prosecutors dropped more serious charges of domestic violence, battery and child endangerment filed against him, KGO reported.

The case, which San Francisco's district attorney announced January 13, rocked the Sheriff's Department just days after Mirkarimi took office.

The city's ethics commission will weigh the misconduct charge and make a recommendation to San Francisco's board of supervisors, the mayor's office said in a statement.

The mayor said he was appointing Vicki Hennessy, a law enforcement veteran and the city's former director of emergency managemnt, to take Mirkarimi's place.

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