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Friday, June 22, 2012

Ross Mirkarimi Hearing: The Drama From the Eyes of Mirkarimi's iPhone

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Ross Mirkarimi and Eliana Lopez
  • Ross Mirkarimi and Eliana Lopez

Ross Mirkarimi's text messages with his wife and campaign manager reveal a more personal side to the drama that has unfolded ever since his Dec. 31 domestic dispute, for which he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment.

Publicly released yesterday as evidence in Mirkarimi's Ethics Commission hearing, the stretch of texts from Christmas to Jan. 12 illustrates the urgency and helplessness that permeates a Bonfire of the Vanities-style fall from power. Mayor Ed Lee has since suspended Mirkarimi and is seeking to kick him out of office for "official misconduct."

The texts appear to clarify certain aspects of the narrative. They suggest that Mirkarimi's wife, Eliana Lopez, genuinely supported him from the start of the drama, and that Mirkarimi was second-guessing his damage-control strategy in real time.

It all happened so suddenly.

On Jan. 1, the afternoon after Mirkarimi bruised Lopez's arm, the couple was looking forward to his upcoming inauguration as sheriff. Just before 2 p.m., she texted him, "Go to the Gym early and be focus [sic] in your inaugural. You just have a week, use it."

That night the sheriff-elect's mind was on dinner. "I went to Whole Foods," he texted his wife at 6:25 p.m., "and got organic clementines and a grapefruit. Plain Hummus." A couple of days later he and campaign manager Linette Peralta Haynes were discussing who he should hire as his chief of staff.

And then things stopped being normal on Jan. 4.

Here's how the some of drama played out from the eyes of Mirkarimi's iPhone [various "sic" throughout].

Jan. 4
(Lopez had filmed a video at neighbor Ivory Madison's house, tearfully showing the bruise on her arm. She said she was protecting herself in case there was a custody battle over their son, Theo. Madison called the police.)

3:47 p.m.
Haynes: "Can you call me. It is urgent. Regarding Eliana."

Haynes: "I need to talk to you to protect you. Call me."

Lopez: "Call me. It is an emergency."

5:49 p.m.
Haynes: "Call me."

5:51 p.m.
Lopez: "You have to call [Sheriff Michael Hennessey] and stop this before something happen. Ivory is giving the investigators everything use your power."

Mirkarimi: "I cannot. And neither can he. You have to reject Ivory's actions. We both do. I cannot involve new people."

Lopez: "Don't write any other thing. Answer Linnette call. She has some advices."

Lopez: "You should not be in any public space ..."

Jan. 5

12:52 p.m.
Mirkarimi: How are you, we? R"

Lopez: "I'm at home. the officer from Domestic V. Called me and I said: thank you so much for your call, I'm sorry my nuts neighbor is doing this, they are broken and they are trying to take attention. He asked me: are you ok? Is Ross ok? We are concern about your safety, and I said: thank you so much, you are doing a great job but I'm not in danger at all ..."

Mirkarimi: "This is a nightmare!"

2 p.m.
Lopez: How are you?

Mirkarimi: "Sad. Scared."

10:57 p.m.
Haynes: "Both of your [Facebook] accounts are shut down -- meaning nobody can post on your wall or tag you in anything. I tested it. Also edited out your phone number and email."

Jan. 8
(Mirkarimi is sworn in as sheriff. He tells reporters that the domestic violence allegations are "a private, family matter.")

12:08 a.m.
Haynes: I still need to send you the resume of someone I think would be good [as chief of staff]. We were too busy before."

Jan. 9

6:55 p.m.
Lopez: "You have to repeat thousands of times: 'I don't have any comment about.' If they ask you 100 times, the same answer."

Lopez: "Emergency. Call me."

Jan. 11

11:10 a.m.
Lopez: "My love, be focus in your work! Don't let any body make you feel worry! You are a winner! You have a great heart! You are a champion and we will win always!"

Mirkarimi: "Thank you, my Love. But doing nothing while the press drives this madness means they're driving the DA too. Fighting later is late."

Lopez: "Let's call the community then to protest in front of city hall against this political battle. How they couldn't beat you in the race they have to go so low."

Jan. 12
(Domestic violence victim advocates, including Domestic Violence Consortium Executive Director Beverly Upton, hold a rally to demand that Mirkarimi resign.)

1:54 p.m.
Lopez: "If you think about it, the protest is not against violence or to support me. So, it shows how desperate they are to make news against you. Be confident my love."

3:51 p.m.
Haynes: "FYI -- The rally was put on by Beverly Upton and the domestic violence consortium (the rally at city hall at 2 to demand you to resign) but it was not a big crowd. Maybe 20-25 most of them probably uptown people."

4:04 p.m.
Mirkarimi: "Unbelievable! Beverly knows that I've always been a fervent supporter of the dv community. am I really guilty until proven innocent ... we know of the political forces at work here and yet, I'm advised to say nothing"

Haynes: "I know! Exactly!!! Yes. I wanted you to know. ... But super small turnout. I will call you later. This will pass."

Haynes: "Beverly was a Cunnie person [Chris Cunnie lost to Mirkarimi in the sheriff's race] and close to Kamala."

7:21 p.m.
Mirkarimi: "What do you suggest we do since political forces are lining up at the behest of opponents?"

Haynes: "I think it is best to wait and not say anything they can twist and use against you. I think the best thing is for you to work hard and begin to accomplish your goals as Sheriff so you can come out with a good story/good press about your accomplishments as Sheriff.

"It will continue to be extremely hard not to say something, but I think they will chase their tails without any interactions/evidence. And it will fade. And remember who came out against you. ... Innocence before proven guilty. This will pass. Stay strong. We are with you & Eliana!"

Mirkarimi: "Strong rumor has it that Beverly was put up to this by Kamala and friends. Sad. They're not going to let it pass. I'm getting deluged from people who want us to fight."

Mirkarimi: "... Eliana is apoplectic at how these women dismissed her feelings. I think we need to organize our side."

Haynes: "I think if we fought now, it would be used against you if it is not done perfectly, and we would just be giving the press more front line stories, and baiting [District Attorney George Gascon], and the powers that be. Silence can be golden at times. I think for now, this is one of those times since the law is involved. I hear people talking that it is obvious it is a political witch hunt."

Mirkarimi: "... Neither Eliana nor I should talk but a loud drum beat needs to vibe that this is a political witch hunt. So evident based on all the tactics they're using. Text book."

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