State Supreme Court is asked to rule on document question in Galatolo case

Ron Galatolo

This story was originally printed in the Thursday, March 23, edition of the Daily Post. If you want to get all of the local news first, pick up the Post at 1,000 Mid-Peninsula locations.  

By Emily Mibach

Daily Post Staff Writer

The criminal case involving former San Mateo County Community College Chancellor Ron Galatolo remains on hold while an attorney asks the state Supreme Court to overturn a decision made in San Mateo County Superior Court.

Attorney John Halley is asking the state Supreme Court to reverse  a decision made by a special master to release records, and in particular, emails, of an attorney who represents a district contractor that may be involved in giving Galatolo kickbacks for awarding the firm contracts. Halley had previously gone to the State Court of Appeals for the same reason, but the appellate court declined to take up the case and affirmed the ruling to release the documents.

All of the appellate court’s filings were sealed because the question at hand is related to attorney-client privilege.

The attorney, Stephen Pahl, also represented Galatolo “in connection with a dispute” with the district, according to a civil suit filed by the district. The special master was appointed by a judge and is a neutral party to sort through the seized material to determine what can and cannot be used in a court trial.

Galatolo is charged with 21 felonies related to perjury and misappropriation of public funds.

He was supposed to appear in court yesterday (March 22), but it was put off until May 16 in order to see what the Supreme Court does. District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said yesterday that it usually takes about two months for the state high court to decide whether to take on a case, and it denies most requests.

A special master had reviewed documents taken from Pahl’s office and decided they ought to be released.

“They’re fighting awfully hard to keep (the emails) private. You’ve got to wonder what’s there,” Wagstaffe said, who has not seen the information that Halley is fighting to keep secret.    

1 Comment

  1. Huge scandal relatively unknown in communities surrounding SMCCD. Might be worth addressing Vice Chancellor Jose Nunez sentencing which either just happened or is coming up.

    Another related topic could be : Faculty Housing provided for Canada College teachers and District Staff according to an ESL teacher I personally spoke with outside his house on the Canada Campus.

    Outside of the fraud,theft and current sentencing or upcoming trial the San Mateo taxpayers have virtually NO idea what is going on. Who are the trustees? Why is nobody talking with them?

    I will do some leg work if you give me a little background to go on. Jim Gatten ph: 650.208.7821

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