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Embattled San Francisco sheriff to keep his job

  • Suspended San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and his wife Eliana Lopez arrive at a Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, in San Francisco. The Board planned to vote on removing Mirkarimi, who pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge in a domestic violence case, from office. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco's embattled sheriff will keep his job, despite his guilty plea to a misdemeanor false imprisonment charge stemming from a New Year's Eve dispute with his actress wife.

Four of the 11-member Board of Supervisors voted late Tuesday against upholding official misconduct charges against Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. A minimum of nine votes were needed to oust him.

When the vote was announced, Mirkarimi supporters burst into cheers. The sheriff kissed his wife, Venezuelan actress Eliana Lopez, who began crying with joy. The couple hugged their lawyers, then were swarmed by well-wishers.

"The system worked in this case," Mirkarimi said outside the board chambers. "It took us a long way to get here. It has not been easy."

Mirkarimi was elected last fall and was mired in controversy before his swearing-in ceremony.

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