Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mirkarimi Judge Gave to D.A.
When Both Worked for Hallinan

San Francisco's sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi, who's been on the job for only a few weeks and has been charged with three misdemeanors related to a possible domestic violence incident involving his wife Eliana Lopez and their son Theo, was arraigned this afternoon. He appeared before Superior Court Judge Susan Breall, pictured, and pleaded not guilty.

Because I believe all the political players in this sad drama should be intensely scrutinized, I searched for any donations made by Breall to Mirkarimi in either his campaigns for District 5 supervisor or sheriff.

The judge has made no such donations, however, during the 1999 race by then-district attorney Terence Hallian she gave his campaign $750. At the time, Mirkarimi worked in the DA's office and on his reelection campaign, while Breall also worked for Hallinan as chief of the criminal division.

Breall's other municipal donations show that she additionally gave Susan Leal $750 for her supervisorial and mayoral races, and $200 to Debra Walker's effort for District 6 supervisor.

On top of her $1,700 in local contributions, Breall also at the state level gave Gov. Gray Davis $1,500 in 2001. In the national political arena, Breall wrote a check for $500 in 2008 to the Democratic National Committee.

All this giving illustrates the genuine political biases of the judge, and in the interests of judicial impartiality for all, regardless of my thoughts about Mirkarimi and the charges he faces, I think someone has to say serious questions need raising about Breall's potential conflict of interest in this case.

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