Former San Mateo Community College Chancellor Arrested at SFO on Corruption Charges

Former San Mateo County Community College District Chancellor Ronald Galatolo was arrested at the San Francisco International Airport on Tuesday on suspicion of multiple public corruption charges, the county district attorney has announced.

In April 2019, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office received a whistleblower complaint of alleged public corruption against members of the executive leadership of the San Mateo County Community College District.

On April 7, the District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe announced felony charges against Galatolo, including an allegation 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 had received and continued to receive "multiple valuable gifts," including tickets to concerts and sporting events as well as international travel. Further, prosecutors said Galatolo failed to disclose on his campaign Form 700 that he received "numerous valuable" gifts from construction firms that had business with the district.

In the chancellor's personal capacity, he is also accused of purchasing high-end and classic cars for which he underreported the purchase price to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Charges were also filed against former Vice Chancellor of Facilities, Jose Nunez, who pleaded guilty in January to two felony counts of misuse of school funds for political purposes.

Galatolo was arrested without incident and posted a cash bail of $150,000 three hours after being taken into custody. He is to be arraigned on April 27.


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