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Former community college chancellor pleads not guilty on corruption charges

Ron Galatolo. Courtesy San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Former San Mateo County Community College District Chancellor Ron Galatolo pleaded not guilty to all corruption charges leveled against him on Thursday, June 30, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Galatolo, 59, of Menlo Park, was arrested on April 12 at San Francisco International Airport, upon returning from outside the country, and faces 21 felony counts. The crimes occurred between February 2011 and March 2020, according to the district attorney.

In April 2019, the DA's Office received a "whistleblower" complaint of alleged public corruption against members of the executive leadership team of the college district.

On April 7, the DA announced felony charges against Galatolo, including that he allegedly fraudulently reported a $10,000 charitable donation to the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation Fire Relief Fund on his 2017 taxes that was actually a donation made by the San Mateo Community College District Foundation.

Galatolo is also charged with allegedly awarding construction projects to vendors from whom he received "multiple valuable gifts," including tickets to concerts and sporting events, and international travel. Further, the DA alleges that Galatolo failed to disclose on his Form 700 that he received "numerous valuable" gifts from construction firms that had business with the community college district. Elected and public officials are required annually to file a Form 700, also known as statements of economic interest.

Cañada College in Woodside. Courtesy San Mateo County Community College District.

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Outside of his role as head of the college district, Galatolo is accused of purchasing high-end and classic cars and underreporting their purchase price to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

The case was continued to Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. to set a preliminary hearing date. Galatolo remains out of custody on $150,000 cash bail. He is represented by Charles J. Smith.

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Angela Swartz
 
Angela Swartz joined The Almanac in 2018 and covers education and small towns. She has a background covering education, city politics and business. Read more >>

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Former community college chancellor pleads not guilty on corruption charges

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 30, 2022, 5:04 pm

Former San Mateo County Community College District Chancellor Ron Galatolo pleaded not guilty to all corruption charges leveled against him on Thursday, June 30, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Galatolo, 59, of Menlo Park, was arrested on April 12 at San Francisco International Airport, upon returning from outside the country, and faces 21 felony counts. The crimes occurred between February 2011 and March 2020, according to the district attorney.

In April 2019, the DA's Office received a "whistleblower" complaint of alleged public corruption against members of the executive leadership team of the college district.

On April 7, the DA announced felony charges against Galatolo, including that he allegedly fraudulently reported a $10,000 charitable donation to the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation Fire Relief Fund on his 2017 taxes that was actually a donation made by the San Mateo Community College District Foundation.

Galatolo is also charged with allegedly awarding construction projects to vendors from whom he received "multiple valuable gifts," including tickets to concerts and sporting events, and international travel. Further, the DA alleges that Galatolo failed to disclose on his Form 700 that he received "numerous valuable" gifts from construction firms that had business with the community college district. Elected and public officials are required annually to file a Form 700, also known as statements of economic interest.

Outside of his role as head of the college district, Galatolo is accused of purchasing high-end and classic cars and underreporting their purchase price to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

The case was continued to Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. to set a preliminary hearing date. Galatolo remains out of custody on $150,000 cash bail. He is represented by Charles J. Smith.

Comments

Brad
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 30, 2022 at 5:50 pm
Brad, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on Jun 30, 2022 at 5:50 pm

Thanks very much for following up on this criminal case, Angela. Your reporting is appreciated. I just hope DA Wagstaffe stays strong and doesn’t let him plea his way out of all these charges or get away without a substantial Prison sentence for what he has done!


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