San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s case against the suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi became a bit clearer as opening arguments were filed, alleging that Mirkarimi not only assaulted his wife, but intimidated witnesses as part of a cover-up.

Those allegations, already being contested by the defense, escalate the rhetoric of the case to a new level. It is a bold claim being made by the Mayor who has taken the unusual step of seeking the ouster of another elected official.

The Mayor’s opening statement alleged that Mirkarimi’s wife went to the home of her neighbor and called his campaign manager. She then handed the phone over to her neighbor and the campaign manager attempted to dissuade her from cooperating with the investigation, and even went so far as to persuade her to lie.

To help make the case against Mirkarimi, Mayor Lee will call 17 witnesses to testify not only about the initial confrontation with his wife, but also his state of mind and actions surrounding the investigation and alleged cover-up.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Mayor Ed Lee on Tuesday accused suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi of engaging in “an attempted cover-up” and of “attempting to dissuade witnesses to a crime” in a domestic violence investigation involving him and his wife, according to documents filed Tuesday in Mirkarimi’s official misconduct case.

“Sheriff Mirkarimi sat by as his campaign manager and his wife tried to tamper with an investigation,” Deputy City Attorney Sherri Kaiser wrote in Lee’s opening brief in a rare effort by a San Francisco mayor to remove an elected official from office.

Read the full article here.