POLITICS (Bay Area): San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi domestic violence case, his "next challenge: paying the lawyers"....
* San Francisco Chronicle (Matier & Ross): "Mirkarimi's next challenge: paying the lawyers" - From the Chronicle:
With his domestic violence case behind him, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is facing another big challenge - legal bills that are at $125,000 and rising. Mirkarimi, whose $199,000-a-year sheriff's salary is the only income for himself and his family, is paying for his own defense team - plus the cost of criminal, family law and immigration lawyers for his wife, Eliana Lopez.
Mirkarimi said Tuesday that the spiraling legal costs, coupled with the intense media coverage and the emotional toll the case was taking on his family, were a "considerable factor" in his decision to plead guilty to a single charge of misdemeanor false imprisonment. In exchange, prosecutors dropped a charge of domestic violence battery and two other misdemeanors . . . . . . . .
To help offset Mirkarimi's legal bills, former Mayor Art Agnos helped host a Friends of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi fundraiser. . . . . Defense attorney Lewis Romero, who describes himself as having "friends on all sides of the case," has also hosted an event to help Mirkarimi pay his legal bills.
Mirkarimi said he has been reluctant to raise money for his legal defense because he found it "so humiliating," but that he intends to make good on his financial responsibilities. Under city law, Mirkarimi can't set up a legal defense fund for a criminal case, but he can accept cash "gifts" of as much as $420. That money can go toward anything, including a lawyer's bill.
Mirkarimi's plea deal Monday came as a surprise to many. He told us that although part of him wanted to fight on, "I want to reunite with my family, and this was the only expeditious way I could." The sheriff is barred by court order from contacting his wife until he undergoes domestic violence counseling as part of his sentence. He is allowed to visit with his son for only a few hours a week.....