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Judge: Controller candidate qualified for ballot
March 25, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Juan Raigoza

Joe Galligan

San Mateo County Assistant Controller Juan Raigoza can run for the office’s top spot on the June 3 ballot, according to a judge who called the qualification of senior fiscal management “ambiguous.”

The ruling means Raigoza, 47, is cleared to join opponent Joe Galligan, a certified public accountant, on the June 3 ballot.

Following the Monday ruling, Raigoza officially announced his candidacy.

“My goal will be to bring about efficiencies, increase transparency and improve safeguards for our county’s precious taxpayer resources,” Raigoza said in a prepared statement.

Galligan, who questioned Raigoza’s qualifications, said Judge Joseph Scott said the definition of “senior fiscal management” is ambiguous and the burden of proof was on the challenger. When Galligan could not disprove Raigoza’s 13 years with the Controller’s Office included fiscal duties performed as a senior manager, Scott denied the lawsuit.

After the ruling, Galligan said in an email to the Daily Journal that Raigoza has been a great county employee and the court petition was never anything personal against him.

“If we are going to have someone in charge of our $2.1 billion county budget, we want a professional,” he wrote.

Galligan contended that Raigoza, who is not a CPA or auditor and has only held the assistant spot for less than two years, could not legally run because he did not meet one of the four possible criteria: Be a Certified Public Accountant; or, possess a degree from an accredited four-year institution with a major in accounting or its equivalent and serve in a senior fiscal management position at a private firm, government agency or nonprofit for at least three years straight within the last five years; or, be certified as a professional internal auditor with a minimum of 16 semester units or equivalent in accounting, auditing or finance; or serve as the county auditor, chief deputy county auditor or chief assistant county auditor for at least three years continuously.

Raigoza has an accounting degree and MBA. He was named assistant controller in 2012 when Controller Bob Adler was appointed to finish his predecessor’s unexpired term. Adler is retiring this year, leaving the controller seat one of the few open offices on the June ballot.

Galligan challenged Raigoza’s credentials earlier this month shortly after both qualified with enough signatures for the ballot. The Elections Office verifies a candidate’s gathered signatures for validity but does not review the declaration of candidacy including credential. If another candidate questions them, he or she must petition the court for a determination.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: raigoza, galligan, county, years, auditor, senior,

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