Sheriffs Activities League head suddenly resigns

Daily Post Staff Writer

The head of a nonprofit that puts on programs to keep kids out of trouble has left after three months on the job, and San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus’s office won’t say why.

Board members received a brief email on Monday announcing that Reina Canale resigned as executive director of the San Mateo County Sheriffs Activities League, or SAL, according to board member and District AttorneySteve Wagstaffe.

Canale was at a board meeting last week. She was making plans to meet with individual board members to learn more from them, Wagstaffe said yesterday.

“Something obviously occurred in the interim,” he said. “What was behind it, I don’t know … I assume all of us on the board are interested to hear what that’s all about.”

Canale couldn’t be reached for comment. She previously worked as an attorney for California Rural Legal Assistance, a nonprofit that represents farmworkers.

Nobody from Corpus’s office returned phone calls Monday or yesterday to talk about the Sheriffs Activities League.

All the sheriff’s office would say is that Canale started on Dec. 17, and her last day is April 4.

“Per protocol, the Sheriff’s Office does not comment on personnel matters. As such, no further information is available,” spokeswoman Gretchen Spiker said in an emailed statement yesterday.

Spiker’s email didn’t provide any details about how or when Corpus will replace Canale.

Open-door policy?

Corpus was elected in November 2022 with the promise of having an open-door policy.

“When you’re approachable and able to talk to people, that’s important,” Corpus said at a campaign event in May 2022.

Corpus hasn’t done any interviews with the Post since she was elected.

Assistant Sheriff Ryan Monaghan and Sheriff’s Chief of Staff Victor Aenlle are on the 12-member board of the Sheriffs Activities League.

Coroner Robert Foucault, union representative Steve Booker, Adam Alberti of the PR firm Singer & Associates and realtors Jaime Gonzalez, Anne Oliva and Jerome Madigan are also on the board.

Corpus was a board member when she was captain in Millbrae before being elected, defeating incumbent Carlos Bolanos.

What SAL does

The nonprofit was founded in 1997 by then-Sheriff Don Horsley to build relationships between youths and deputies, and to keep kids in school. Each sheriff has grown the nonprofit to involve more kids, according to the website.

A long list of programs are held in North Fair Oaks, Redwood City, East Palo Alto, San Carlos and on the coastside.

Kids in elementary school can take Tae Kwon Do, dance and art classes, soccer, golf and junior rangers. High schoolers and middle schoolers can do horseback riding or volunteer on a teen leadership council.

The sheriff’s office announced last week that SAL will open a new office in Half Moon Bay.

Three out of four kids in the program are Latino, and 11,000 people participate each year, according to the nonprofit’s website.

The Sheriffs Activities League had $767,255 in revenue in 2021 from grants and donations, according to its most recent tax filings.

Past director

Barbara Bonilla, the executive director for over a decade, resigned in May 2020 after allegedly stealing $13,706 from the organization.

Bonilla was sentenced in September 2021 to two years of probation, 170 hours of community service and was required to pay full restitution.


  1. Apparently she had enough after just 3 months. A friend works there as says morale is the worse its ever been, people leaving to other agencies, no leadership, and the chief of staff runs the show.

    • You’re right. Many experienced sworn are leaving or retiring early. Which is a shame, as the Sheriff’s Office is losing an extraordinary amount of experience and institutional knowledge. The executive staff Corpus has surrounded herself with lacks “institutional knowledge.”

  2. In regards to the “Open Door Policy” paragraph in this article. Corpus told the Peninsula’s Police Chiefs, that she doesn’t need them, but they needed her. Which coattails into a reliable sources citing; she never returns phone calls or emails, especially at the Chief level.

  3. This represents the normal corruption at Caltrain-SamTrans. They just got caught. These agencies don’t provide the public with much benefit. But the employees are doing things like this.

  4. Canale is a very smart lady. Like so many others that have left and are leaving, she saw the writing on the wall with Victor. It’s too bad, Canale could have worked to make something special for the community but Victor wouldn’t listen. Victor thinks he is a doctor and he thinks he knows it all – He doesn’t.

    [Portion removed: If you’ve got proof, send it to us.]

    A Sheriff we can trust? I don’t think so. It is time for both to go.

  5. [Post removed — Violation of our Terms of Use. No proof of these allegations has been provided. If you get proof, contact the Post newsroom at (650) 328-7700. Telling us to ask somebody if something is true isn’t proof.]

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