Allegations against ex-mayor mount

More allegations of misconduct have surfaced in the investigation of former Colma Mayor Larry Formalejo, who resigned Wednesday after an incident stemming from his son’s DUI arrest became public.

City Attorney Roger Peters said city staff have received more allegations of his inappropriate behavior but would not reveal any specific details into the alleged misconduct.

Peters said the internal investigation, due to be completed by March 12, will determine if the surfaced allegations are true. He said the point of the investigation is not to punish the former mayor, but to see if the Town Council should take any actions, such as adopting new ethic codes.

In a letter to City Manager Diane McGrath on Wednesday, Formalejo admitted that he sought “assistance from an officer” when his 21-year-old son was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Colma in 2006.

Formalejo said to The Examiner on Thursday that he would be more careful if he was faced with a situation similar to his son’s DUI arrest.

“But I’d still react as a parent and a father with deep concern,” he said.

Helen Fisicaro, the former vice mayor who took the town helm Wednesday night, said that he voluntarily told the other council members of the situation surrounding his son’s DUI arrest after he recently made “another misstep.” She would not reveal what the other misstep was.

“You have certain responsibilities you have in this job, and you can’t give an impression that you can do favors,” she said. “We have to separate being a councilperson and being a relative, and it’s very hard sometimes.”

Formalejo, who has served as mayor since December, will remain on the Town Council. Council members and city staff do not have the authority to force Formalejo to leave the council since he was elected by the public, Peters said. Formalejo said he planned to do a better job as council member from now on and then seek reelection in November.

“I promised that I will live up to be a good councilmember — you learn through your mistakes and you become a better person,” Formalejo said. “The people who have known me for the past three years have seen the work I’ve done for the community.”

svasilyuk@examiner.com

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