The neighbor, Ivory Madison, had recorded a video of a tearful Lopez discussing the purported abuse. She later gave the video to police.
Mirkarimi told Deputy City Attorney Peter Keith that after learning police were investigating the incident, he remembered telling Lopez that she'd have to follow through with the process and couldn't "un-ring the bell."
Mirkarimi's woes began when he and Lopez became involved in an argument over whether she could travel to her native Venezuela with their 3-year-old son.
Mirkarimi admitted to bruising her arm with an overly firm grip. After pleading guilty to misdemeanor false imprisonment, Mirkarimi was sentenced to probation and counseling.
Keith attempted to establish the city's claim that Mirkarimi knowingly committed a crime against his wife well before he was charged.
"Don't you think the honorable thing to do would've been to resign?" Keith asked the sheriff.
Mirkarimi replied, "That's a hard question and that's a hard one to answer. ... I did exactly as I should."
Mirkarimi told the commission later that, in hindsight, he wishes he had a better strategy to deal with the media and subsequent fallout from his actions.
"It was an overwhelming event and continued to be an overwhelming event in the way I was branded," Mirkarimi said. "I was sad, humiliated. I lost my family," he said.
"My past was tarnished and sullied and my future uncertain. I certainly wished we were more on top of this."
Kopp said afterward that he felt Mirkarimi was able to dispel some innuendos and that he hopes to have Peralta Haynes and Lopez — who has been in Venezuela the last several months — testify when the hearing resumes next month.
The commission will then forward its recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, which needs the votes of nine of 11 members to remove Mirkarimi from office.