SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Embattled San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, who faces a charge of spousal abuse, failed on Thursday to have a judge lift a protective order that prevents him from having contact with his 2-year-old son.
Mirkarimi pleaded not guilty earlier this month to misdemeanor counts of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness in an incident stemming from an argument with his wife on New Year's Eve.
"He loves his wife, he loves his family, he's indicated he wants to be reunited with his family," Mirkarimi's attorney, Lydia Stiglich, said in court. "He's looking forward to getting this behind him."
Stiglich told San Francisco Superior Court Judge Susan Breall that the sheriff's son, Theo, shows signs of missing his father. The protective order also prevents Mirkarimi from having contact with his wife, Eliana Lopez, whose initial complaint to her neighbor about Mirkarimi led to the charges against him.
But Breall said she was not in a position as a criminal court judge to modify or lift a stay away order, and she recommended that Mirkarimi make that request to a family court judge instead of her.
"I know Sheriff Mirkarimi would not want to have special treatment because he's the sheriff," the judge said.
Breall set a February 22 court date in her courtroom for a pre-trial hearing.
(Reporting by Emmett Berg.; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Peter Bohan)