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Court denies controller hopeful’s appeal: Candidate Juan Raigoza to be on the June ballot
March 28, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Joe Galligan

Juan Raigoza

An appellate court yesterday denied controller hopeful Joe Galligan’s latest attempt to keep opponent Juan Raigoza off the June ballot based on the validity of his financial credentials.

Galligan petitioned the First District Court of Appeals on Wednesday arguing Elections Chief Mark Church cannot consider Raigoza a legally qualified candidate because he doesn’t hold any of the required certificates, has not served as auditor or chief assistant auditor for at least three years or otherwise meet the established requirements.

With the printing of ballots imminent, Galligan sought a temporary restraining order to give the court time to consider the merits of his appeal.

On Thursday afternoon, the court denied the appeal.

Raigoza said Galligan’s repeated efforts to keep him off the ballot are “wasting precious taxpayer resources” and that “frankly, it’s unfortunate he can’t appreciate my 13 years of leadership experience.”

Raigoza was named assistant county controller in 2012 and holds both an accounting degree and MBA. Galligan contends his experience does not rise to the level of “senior fiscal manager” as intended by the Legislature when establishing the job qualifications of a county controller.

Galligan is a certified public accountant.

On Monday, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Joseph Scott called the qualification “ambiguous” and denied Galligan’s challenge which led to this now-denied appeal.

Galligan claimed Scott erred in his interpretation and that with Raigoza on the ballot, the “public will be irreparably harmed” by possibly being “deceived” into voting for an unqualified candidate and public funds will be spent on an unnecessary election.

Galligan said he always wanted to get the issue before an appellate court because a judge at that level rather than in the Superior Court is best equipped to determine the meaning of the term. Even with his appeal denied, Galligan said the issue needs resolution to stave off future confusion.

“I hope that the courts or Legislature define the wording of ‘senior fiscal management’ so no one else has to go through this process,” Galligan said.

During Monday’s hearing, current Controller Bob Adler took the stand to testify that he believed Raigoza to be a “senior fiscal manger” while serving as a “financial services manager II” but admitted on cross-examination he has already endorsed Raigoza.

Scott also indicated that voters were best to decide the question of qualifications, according to Galligan’s petition.

Prior to the court issuing its denial yesterday, Raigoza said he had faith in the electorate.

“I think voters will see through this veiled attempt to discredit me,” he said.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: raigoza, galligan, court, denied, appeal, galligan,

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