San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi looks like he’ll be updating his resume after suffering a landslide loss in his re-election bid last night. Mirkarimi was in office when Kate Steinle was shot and killed by Francisco Sanchez, a five-time deported illegal alien. It set off a national debate about sanctuary cities, San Francisco becoming one of them in 1989. In July, Mirkarimi defended the policy, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that the policy makes the city “safer.” Nevertheless, there were other reasons why Mirkarimi was booted. His tenure was dotted with controversy, one of them, as Katie mentioned, being a domestic abuse charge from 2012 (via Fox News):
Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, 54, was defeated by Vicki Hennessy, a former sheriff’s official who had the endorsement of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the sheriff deputies association. As of early Wednesday morning, Hennessy had received 62 percent of the vote to just 31 percent for Mirkarimi.Mirkarimi was the subject of national criticism after Mexican illegal immigrant Francisco Sanchez allegedly shot and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle on San Francisco’s waterfront July 1. Sanchez had been released from Mirkarimi’s jail in March even though federal immigration officials had requested he be detained for possible deportation.
But since then, the sheriff’s oversight of the department has been plagued by other high-profile mishaps and controversies seen as contributing to his defeat. He had his driver’s license briefly suspended for failing to properly report a minor accident while driving a department-issued car, and he also flunked a marksmanship test.
In November 2014, Mirkarimi also was forced to apologize for the bungled search for a San Francisco General Hospital patient whose body was found in a stairwell weeks after she wandered from her room. The sheriff is in charge of the hospital’s security, but deputies didn’t search the building until nine days after her disappearance. The city paid the patient’s family $3 million to settle a lawsuit.
At the time of Mirkarimi’s domestic abuse charges, Mayor Ed Lee suspended him, but was reinstated after a vote by the city’s Board of Supervisors. Lee needed nine votes, but only got four. Federal action to deal with sanctuary cities was in something of a legislative limbo before being outright blocked by the Senate. The White House also threatened to veto the legislation if it was passed.
Cortney also noted yesterday that another bill, Kate’s Law, is popular among voters.
But, for now, goodbye, Sheriff.