Baghdad by the Bay

Mar 21, 2012

The mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, is moving to oust the sheriff of San Francisco, Ross Mirkarimi, from office, following the latter's sentencing on domestic violence charges. Just another day in SF.


From the Chronicle's Rachel Gordon: "Once Mirkarimi is formally served with the misconduct charges today, he will be suspended from office immediately, without pay, after less than three months on the job."


"We must always be held to the highest legal and ethical standards," Lee said in announcing his decision at City Hall on Tuesday. "Sheriff Mirkarimi's actions and confession of guilt clearly fall below these standards of decency and good faith, rightly required of all public officials."


"He added, "I take this action with every conviction that I am doing what is in the best interest of the people of San Francisco and acting on a firm legal basis."

The disclosures in the evolving tale of Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer -- the wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer -- are not over: Reportedly, she visited her ex-lover in jail by signing in as an attorney, which allowed her to spend more time with him privately than would have been allowed had she been a regular visitor.


From Josh Richman and Angela Woodall in the Oakland Tribune: "Lockyer faced questions from the Bay Area News Group -- which learned about the visits through a public-records request -- when she returned to work Tuesday, more than a month after announcing she was entering rehabilitation for an undisclosed addiction following an purported assault by the former lover in a Newark hotel room..."


"Jail sign-in logs from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office obtained by the Bay Area News Group through legal demands to the County Counsel's Office show Lockyer visited Elmwood jail on June 15 and June 22, 2011. Chikhani, 35, of San Jose, was serving a 90-day sentence there after violating terms of his probation for a 2010 methamphetamine conviction."


Meanwhile, Nadia Lockyer, who has been enrolled in a subsance-abuse treatment clinic, unexpectedly showed up in public Tuesday at a supervisors' retreat.


From the Chronicle's Matier and Ross: "A month after enrolling in a substance-abuse program following a violent clash with an ex-boyfriend in a Newark hotel, Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer unexpectedly showed up for work Tuesday at a board retreat - and stepped right back into a controversy."


"Her husband, state Treasurer Bill Lockyeraccompanied her to the Alameda County Conference Center in downtown Oakland and returned later in the day to pick her up..."

"The rail-thin supervisor, wearing a black suit and pearl necklace, was all business Tuesday, declining to address reporters as she ducked from a morning session with her board colleagues into a lunch meeting that lasted 90 minutes."

Speaking of custody, a lawyer for prison inmates in solitary confinement plans to petition the United Nations to monitor  the practice and look into their living conditions, mental health and other aspects of their capitivity,


From the AP's Gilian Flaccus: "The petition, which asks the international body to allow an independent party to interview prisoners and review their medical files, comes after about 6,000 inmates at 13 prisons statewide went on a hunger strike last summer. They have since staged smaller and more intermittent strikes to protest what they call inhumane and torturous conditions in the so-called segregation housing units, or SHUs."


"The petition announced Tuesday was drawn up on behalf of 400 inmates who wrote letters seeking help after being assigned to the isolation cells for years because of their gang ties, said Peter Schey, executive director of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law. A half-dozen family members of inmates currently living in solitary confinement joined Schey at a news conference and shared stories of brothers, husbands and sons who have spent decades in the segregated cells."


A move to recall Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is under way, but the sources of the financial support for at least one of the political committees aren't being disclosed.


Robert Gammon in the East Bay Express tells the tale: "One of the campaigns attempting to recall Oakland Mayor Jean Quan from office is raising thousands of dollars to pay for professional signature-gatherers. But the group, Committee to Recall Mayor Quan Now, is refusing to disclose its donors or exactly how much it has raised."


"Under lax state reporting rules, the group doesn't have to — at least not for six more weeks, by which time it expects to have collected thousands of signatures. The same laws, meanwhile, are allowing a group that formed to support Quan and fight the recall to keep its contributors secret until at least April 30 as well."


Finally, from our "Dumb Crooks" file, comes the tale of the dope smugglers who drove an SUV with the license plate "SMUGGLER" and who stayed at the Smuggler's Inn near the Canadian border. We don't make these things up.


"Homeland Security agents received a tip in mid-December about a cocaine deal at a Pizza Hut in Bellingham, Wash., the reported, citing recently released court documents. They set up surveillance at the Pizza Hut and watched as a GMC Yukon with a driver and two passengers pulled in. The license plate read SMUGGLER."


"Agents followed the SUV to the Smuggler’s Inn, pulled it over and found, in a large, white box, nine bricks of cocaine weighing just under 24 pounds, the P-I reported."


"One of the passengers, Jasmin Klair, 20, admitted that the illicit cargo was hers and agreed to cooperate with law enforcement officials, according to court documents. She explained to agents that she had been told to book at a bottom-floor room facing Canada at the Smuggler’s Inn, a bed and breakfast with rooms named "Al Capone" and "DB Cooper." Klair wanted the "Captain's Room," about 150 feet from the border."


I want to hear more about D.B. Cooper....


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