San Francisco's Sanctuary City Sheriff Voted Out of Office

San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi lost his reelection bid last night in California. Mirkarimi spent "months in the national spotlight as the face of his city's controversial 'sanctuary city' policy on illegal immigration."

Mirkarimi, 54, was defeated by Vicki Hennessy, a former sheriff's official who had the endorsement of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the sheriff deputies association. With 42 percent of precincts reporting, Henessy had received 63 percent of the vote to 31 percent for Mirkarimi.

The defeated sheriff had been heavily criticized after an illegal immigrant from Mexico shot and killed Katie Steinle on San Francisco's waterfront. "Sanchez had been released from Mirkarimi's jail in March even though federal immigration officials had requested that he be detained for possible deportation."

San Francisco and other cities and counties have routinely ignored requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to keep people in custody. The jurisdictions say they can't hold arrestees beyond their scheduled release dates without probable cause.

Mirkarimi's opponent Vicki Hennessy said that the sheriff's order preventing the San Francisco jail from cooperating with immigration officials is misguided. "There are cases, she said, when federal immigration officials should be notified that the jail is about to release an inmate who is in the country illegally."

Since Steinle's death, Mirakimi's oversight of the department had been plagued by other high-profile mishaps and controversies. He had his driver's license briefly suspended for failing to properly report a minor accident while driving a department-issued car, and he also flunked a marksmanship test.

Only in San Francisco.

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