After months of delays because of a dispute over whether emails obtained from former San Mateo County Community College District Chancellor Ron Galatolo's prior attorney can be used against him, Galatolo will have his day in court on Monday, July 31, at 9 a.m.
Both the state Court of Appeals and the California Supreme Court rejected the defense petition to overturn San Mateo County Judge Jeffery Finigan's ruling to allow discovery of the email evidence. Attorney John Halley, the attorney for one of several construction companies the district is seeking damages and relief against for "fraud, bribery, and kickbacks," asked the state Supreme Court to overturn Finigan's decision allowing Galatolo's attorney and the District Attorney's office to use the firm's emails in the case.
Earlier this week, San Mateo County Judge Donald Ayoob granted the prosecution and defense a joint motion to continue their review of the material released as a result of the Supreme Court decision in April, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe's media notes from cases on Wednesday, May 16.
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.
Galatolo is 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. Prosecutors also allege that Galatolo failed to disclose 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.
Galatolo pleaded not guilty to all 21 felony charges leveled against him on June 30, 2022. His initial arraignment on felony charges was on April 27, 2022.
The DA's Office is seeking criminal charges against Galatolo. Separately, in February, the school district has sued several construction companies: Allana Buick & Bers; McCarthy Building Companies; Studio W Architects (formerly Bunton, Clifford & Associates); Bothman Construction; and Blach Construction Company. The district is seeking damages and relief against the firms, and its complaint alleges the scheme was led by Galatolo.
Galatolo remains out of custody on $150,000 cash bail. He is represented by Charles J. Smith.
A judge will set a date for the preliminary hearing at the July 31 court date.