One needs a script to follow the drama surrounding the San Mateo County Community College District and Ron Galatolo.
The recent annulment of his contract as chancellor emeritus and subsequent firing based on his penultimate contract as chancellor was a lawyering switcheroo. How did we get here?
“Disputes between the parties in their employment relationship” caused his departure as chancellor. As a consolation prize, the old board negotiated a 32-month contract for a newly created job as chancellor emeritus totaling $1.6 million. Mr. Galatolo was held harmless for prior transgressions during his eighteen-year reign as chancellor. Furthermore, the board abdicated its authority to fire him as chancellor emeritus, putting the sole power in the hands of retired Judge Richard Kramer. All this was very unusual and suspicious.
Some think the brewing DA’s investigation was the cause for ending the bromance between the Board and Galatolo. I contend that the Board was unaware of the DA’s intentions; after all, it would be dumb to arrange a quid pro quo with a person the DA was about to hammer.
That begs the question, what did the former Board of Trustees get from this unconventional transaction? Did it benefit students? Did it fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers?
Now the new board hopes to claw back $700,000 in salary paid Galatolo after the old board placed him on paid administrative leave. We still don’t know why the old board created “An arrangement to conceal.”
I asked former board President Maurice Goodman. No comment.
Michael B. Reiner, Ph.D.
Boynton Beach, Florida