So this is funny/expensive: Embattled Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, whose legal arguments against his suspension are lately getting laughed at by City Attorney Dennis Herrera, has just hired a high-profile L.A. attorney whose credits include Michael Jackson's 2003 molestation trial and Mel Gibson's 2006 DUI case and the Scott Peterson murder trial in 2002. It's unclear whether Mirkarimi can actually afford the services of this attorney, Shepard Kopp, or if Kopp is perhaps doing this pro bono because he has a personal interest in politics and believes firmly that a miscarriage of justice is occurring here.

We know that one of Mirkarimi's prime motivations for pleading out in his domestic abuse case was the mounting legal expense, and that he likely wanted to take and keep the sheriff's job largely for reasons of job security. So, we're guessing Kopp is not getting paid. He'll be serving as advisory counsel alongside Mikarimi's existing attorney David Waggoner in an upcoming hearing on April 20 to challenge Ed Lee's suspension of Mirkarimi.

As Kopp tells the Examiner, “I think that the law is clear [regarding suspensions for misconduct]. Primarily it has to mean conduct that occurs when you’re in office.” The argument that Kopp and Waggoner will be bringing before a judge on the 20th is that Mirkarimi should not have been suspended for a misdemeanor that occurred a week before he officially took office.

We already know that Herrera's going to undercut that one by saying that Mirkarimi was a city supervisor and "continuing elected official" and that he was not immune from the law simply because he had not taken the oath of office for his new job.


All previous Ross Mirkarimi coverage.