People v. Ronald Dario Galatolo
In April 2019, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office received a whistle-blower complaint of public corruption against members of the executive leadership of the San Mateo County Community College District. The District operates three Colleges: Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College. The current Board of Trustees, through their outside counsel, Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman, LLP., has been supportive of our efforts in obtaining records and conducting interviews of District personnel, assisting our investigation that has resulted in the filing of these felony charges. In December 2021, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office brought felony charges against former Vice Chancellor of Facilities Jose Nunez, who pled guilty to two felony violations of Education Code Section 7054 (Use of School Funds for Political Purposes) in January 2022.
The San Mato County District Attorney’s Office now brings felony charges against Ronald Galatolo, the former Chancellor of the San Mateo County Community College District, who was appointed by the Board of Trustees in 2001 and stepped down in August 2019, for the following alleged conduct:
1) In his personal capacity, former Chancellor Galatolo fraudulently reported a $10,000 charitable donation to the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation Fire Relief Fund, made to aid students, staff and faculty in recovering from the Tubbs fire, on his 2017 state income tax return that was actually a donation made by the San Mateo County Community College District Foundation, as reflected in Counts 1 and 2 of the Complaint, violations of Revenue and Tax Code Section 19705 and 19706;
2) While serving as Chancellor, Galatolo, with the assistance of Vice Chancellor of Facilities Jose Nunez, directed construction projects be awarded to vendors from whom he had received and continued to receive multiple valuable gifts, including concert and sporting events tickets and international travel, and with whom he shared financial interests, as reflected in Counts 3-10 in the Complaint, violations of Penal Code Section 424(a)(2) and Government Code Section 1090;
3) While serving as Chancellor, Galatolo failed to disclose on his required annual Form 700 that he received numerous valuable gifts from construction firms who had business with the District, as reflected in Counts 11-20 in the Complaint, violations of Penal Code Section 118(a);
4) In his personal capacity, former Chancellor Galatolo purchased high-end and classic cars and purposefully under-reported the purchase price to the California DMV as reflected in Counts 20-21 in the Complaint, violations of Penal Code Section 118(a).
Mr. Galatolo is scheduled for arraignment on the felony arrest warrant in this matter on April 15 at 9 a.m. in Redwood City.