SAN FRANCISCO—It was announced on Wednesday, November 5, that Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, 54, lost his bid for re-election to Vicki Hennessy.
Mirkarimi has been a police officer since 2011 and served on the Board of Supervisors for six years. From the start, Mirkarimi’s career as sheriff has been plagued by controversy.
In 2012, when he was first appointed, he was almost immediately suspended by San Francisco Mayor Edward Lee on misconduct charges. The charges were brought up due to allegations of domestic violence against Mirkarimi’s wife, who claimed that he had grabbed her hard enough to cause bruising. Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to the charges and was placed on probation and had to attend counseling. During that time, Vicki Hennessy was appointed as interim sheriff. In October 2012, Mirkarimi was reinstated as sheriff, because there were not enough votes to have him permanently removed from the position.
In November 2014, Mirkarimi was involved in a $3 million lawsuit when he botched a search for a San Francisco General Hospital patient. She was found weeks later, dead in a stairwell. Guards in his force were also accused of staging and gambling on inmate fights. There was also issues with the drug gang leader, who managed to escape from jail.
In 2015, Mirkarimi faced criticism when he had his license suspended for not properly reported a minor accident while driving a department-issued vehicle. It was discovered that he failed his marksmanship test.
One of the recent controversies, which is being speculated as to being the reason Mirkarimi lost re-election is the sanctuary city controversy. Kathryn Steinle, 32, was shot and killed by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an illegal Mexican immigrant. Sanchez had been in police custody, but was released in March despite the fact that he was supposed to be detained due to possible deportation.
Hennessy was endorsed by both the sheriff deputies association and SF Mayor Edward Lee. It was announced Wednesday morning that there was 62 percent vote in favor of Hennessy and only 31 percent in favor of Mirkarimi. Hennessy will be San Francisco’s first-elected female sheriff.