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News Update

San Mateo Community College District sues contractors

The San Mateo Community College District filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that a group of architectural firms and contractors engaged in a fraud scheme to secure big contracts. The scheme allegedly involved former Chancellor Ron Galatolo, though he was not named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that, in exchange for lavish gifts, Galatolo helped the companies secure multimillion-dollar contracts. Architectural firms Allana, Buick and Bers, and Bunton Clifford and Associates as well as construction companies McCarthy Building Cos., Blach Construction and Robert A. Bothman all received construction contracts for work at the Skyline College, College of San Mateo and Cañada College. 

Voters had approved $1 billion worth of bond measures in San Mateo County between 2011 and 2014 meant to address the colleges’ construction and equipment needs, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Galatolo was arrested and charged in April 2022 with fraud and corruption to which he pleaded not guilty, the Chronicle reported. This came after he was placed on administrative leave from the community college district in 2019 and later had his contract rescinded in 2021 for undisclosed ethical violations.