Former San Mateo County Community College District Chancellor is charged with tax evasion and embezzlement of public funds


SAN MATEO — The former San Mateo County Community College District Chancellor has been charged with tax evasion, embezzlement of public funds and perjury, prosecutors say.

Ronald Galatolo, who was hired in 2001 and fired in 2019, will be arraigned on April 15, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Thursday.

The charges are the culmination of a years-long criminal investigation into allegations of corruption in the University District.

Prosecutors say Galatolo fraudulently reported a $10,000 charitable donation to the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation Fire Relief Fund on his 2017 tax return. The donation was actually made by the County College District Foundation. San Mateo, prosecutors said.

Galatolo, with the help of former vice-chancellor of facilities Jose Nunez, also led construction projects to be awarded to companies from which he had received and continued to receive gifts, including tickets to concerts and events. sports and international travel, and with whom he shared financial interests, according to prosecutors.

Additionally, Galatolo did not disclose that he received gifts from construction companies that had business with the University District, prosecutors said. He also allegedly purchased several high-end classic cars and underreported the purchase price to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Galatolo did not immediately return a phone call and email seeking comment on the charges.

The charges follow a corruption whistleblower complaint filed in April 2019 against members of the University District’s executive branch. Last December, the district attorney’s office filed charges against Nunez, who ultimately pleaded guilty to two felony charges of using school funds for political purposes, prosecutors say.

The University District oversees three schools in San Mateo County: Cañada College in Redwood City, College of San Mateo in San Mateo, and Skyline College in San Bruno.

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