KGO's Dan Noyes flew to Caracas, Venezuela to interview the wife of embattled San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, and while her comments haven't made anywhere near the media splash that most scraps of information on this sordid tale create, it's very much worth watching the video. Check it out here.
Remember as you watch: Mirkarimi hasn't been able to speak to his wife in months. The stay-away order prevents him from seeing her or phoning her or emailing her or contacting her in any way (except to coordinate his limited visits and skype calls with his son). It's possible that the two of them came up with a joint story early on in the process, before the restraining order, but unless that happened, they're both offering independent versions of the events.
And a lot of what Lopez says is consistent with a lot of what Mirkarimi says.
She tells Noyes that she was never afraid of her husband or fearful for their son. She says that she thought her neighbor, Ivory Madison, was an attorney and that the video -- designed to be used in a possible future custody battle -- would be confidential. (Madison's lawyer disputes that.) She tells more or less the same tale of that New Year's Eve that Mirkarimi does.
She also says there was no prior incidence of domestic violence -- that her comments on the tape about "the second time" referred only to an earlier verbal argument about her travel to Venezuala.
Not defending Mirkarimi's actions here (and no, trolls, I never have). Just saying that it's important to hear his wife's (presumably) unvarished version of events when we make judgments around whether he should keep his job. (The mayor never bothered to talk to Lopez before he filed official misconduct charges).
I don't think the embattled sheriff was happy to hear his wife say that the couple may divorce, or that she may not return to San Francisco (the city, she says -- justifiably -- hasn't been nice to her).
But I think the voice of Eliana Lopez has been missing too long in this whole political battle, and I'm glad to see she's speaking out.
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