Ross Mirkarimi was back in court today with his lawyers arguing before Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn that he should not have been suspended from duty as Sheriff pending his Ethics Commission hearing, but things aren't looking good for his case. Judge Kahn already issued a tentative ruling yesterday in favor of Mayor Ed Lee's decision, but there is a small chance he will be swayed by arguments today.
Mirkarimi's lawyers, including L.A. celebrity attorney Shepard Kopp, argued that Mayor Lee was overstepping in suspending and attempting to dismiss Mirkarimi on the grounds of his domestic dispute, and that the language in the City Charter regarding misconduct is "unconstitutionally vague."
Kahn's decision reads as follows: "All of [Mirkarimi's] contentions can and should be addressed in the first instance by the Ethics Commission and the Board of Supervisors, and then, if necessary, by a further writ seeking review of their decision... [And Mirkarimi] is not entitled to be paid while he is suspended."
The Ethics Commission hearing is set for Monday. We'll update you with Kahn's final decision later today.
Update: Judge Kahn has indeed ruled that the suspension was valid and the hearing should go forward. He said to the courtroom, regarding the process vis a vis the mayor, ""I don't think it's so far afield that I should pull the plug before it starts... I take this action with every conviction that I am acting on a firm legal basis and doing what is in the best interest of the people of San Francisco." [Tribune]