Mayor Lee and high ethical standards

Pub date March 21, 2012
WriterTim Redmond
SectionPolitics Blog

If Mayor Ed Lee thinks that a person who pled guilty to false imprisonment can’t do the job of San Francisco sheriff, he’s welcome to say that. He would hardly be alone in that position, and it’s one that a fair number of progressives support.

But I didn’t know whether to laugh or puke when I heard his statement on the suspension:

Sheriff Mirkarimi’s actions and confession of guilt clearly fall below these standards of decency and good faith, rightly required of all public officials.

“Standards of decency and good faith?” This from a mayor who lied repeatedly about his intentions to seek office. A mayor who promised that there were absolutely no conditions under which he would seek a full term as mayor. A mayor whose campaign has already led to money-laundering indictments. A mayor whose supporters appeared on camera to be illegally collecting ballots. A guy who was caught up in a really sleazy bid deal under Mayor Willie Brown. A politician whose closest allies are powerful people with very checkered ethics records.

I’m surprised I didn’t see Mohammed Nuru up there, too, talking about the great high ethical standards in the Mayor’s Office.

Look: You can argue that Mirkarimi doesn’t belong in law-enforcement, and you can argue that he should resign, and you can argue his fate all day, as people have been doing, mostly in good faith, on this here website. I never have defended Mirkarimi’s conduct, and I’m not going to start now.

But please: Ed Lee has no business talking about high standards of decency and good faith. By those rules, we could kick out a sizable part of his administration.