Former Colma mayor resigns

Just after a meeting in which the Town Council decided not to take any action against former Mayor Larry Formalejo, he resigned.

Formalejo, the first Filipino mayor to serve in Colma, handed his resignation letter to council members Wednesday night after the Town Council chambers emptied out after the meeting.

“I feel I can no longer provide the Colma community with good decisions on the council,” Formalejo said in his letter.

The former council member, who did not return calls for this article, said he was resigning for health reasons. He had previously said he had no plans to resign before the end of his term in November.

At the meeting Wednesday, an investigation report accusing him of inappropriate behavior was made public. Despite the mounting accusations, Formalejo’s resignation surprised some council members.

“We were all blown away,” said Mayor Helen Fisicaro, who took over after Formalejo left his mayoral post last month. “He had many many chances.”

Councilmember Frosanna Vallerga said no one pressured Formalejo to step down.

“The choice was his — he did it on his own,” she said. “This was not very pleasant for anyone.”

The former councilmember, who was elected in 2004 and became mayor in December, was accused of seeking personal favors for himself and his family from police officers and other town employees. The Town Council hired an outside investigator to look into other offenses after Formalejo allegedly asked a Colma police officer to reduce his niece’s speeding ticket fine in January.

Before resigning, Formalejo called the report “one-sided,” even though he denied to be interviewed by the investigator.

The Town Council will hold a special meeting March 27 to decide whether to call a special election, appoint a new person, or leave the seat empty. The decision has to be made by April 11, according to City Attorney Roger Peters, and the process can take up to several months.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

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