Former Colma mayor will not be censured

Despite a report that found Larry Formalejo used his position as a city official in attempts to curry favor from police officers and other city employees, the Town Council decided against censuring the former mayor Wednesday.

The report, released Wednesday and conducted by outside investigator Linda Tripoli, said Formalejo was upset with the way officers handled his son’s arrest in August 2006 but that he helped “get [officers] good raises relative to [collective bargaining] negotiations.”

The council, however, said he had been through enough.

“It has been a very awkward, distressing situation,” said the newly sworn in Vice Mayor Joanne del Rosario. “Hopefully, we can move on.”

Formalejo, who said he plans to remain on the Town Council until the end of his term in November, called the report one-sided, despite having declined to be interviewed by the investigator.

“They didn’t hear my side,” he said. “The district attorney couldn’t find any criminal action. I’ve done nothing wrong.”

Formalejo stepped down from his post as mayor last month after an incident stemming from his son’s DUI arrest became public.

He is accused of asking the arresting officer to “make the [DUI] charges go away,” using a credit card allotted to city officials to sign up for a FasTrak pass two years ago and asking an officer to help reduce the fine on his niece’s speeding ticket in January, which prompted an investigation.

The report also stated that Formalejo asked City Planner Andrea Ouse in 2006 to apply for an affordable-housing unit in Colma. A town ordinance bars anyone in charge of “making decisions over the unit” from living there. Ouse, the report states, found the request odd and Formalejo to be “naïve.”

In the most recent case, Formalejo is accused of asking Colma Police Cmdr. Greg Hart to use his ties at the South San Francisco Police Department to reduce a fine for his niece, who had been ticketed for speeding in South City. The report said Hart “felt like he was back in the ’70s or ’80s with a request like that.”

City Manager Diane McGrath said a learning curve is normal for new council members, but after four years on the council, Formalejo received enough ethics training to know better.

“I don’t think it was a lack of knowledge of his ethics obligations — maybe a lack of judgment,” she said.

svasilyuk@examiner.com

Ethical breaches

Possible breaches of ethical standards committed by Larry Formalejo:

» Asked Colma police officer to make DUI charges against son “go away”

» Reminded Police Department about his power in labor negotiations in dealing with his son’s charges

» Used town-issued credit card to sign up for FasTrak pass

» Asked Colma police commander to help reduce the fine from his niece’s speeding ticket

» Asked city planner to apply for vacant affordable housing unit

Source: Report from attorney Linda Tripoli

Bay Area NewsLocalPeninsula

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Azikiwee Anderson of Rize Up Bakery pulls and twists sourdough into shape on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco’s Rize Up Bakery serving up sourdough with a call to action

Azikiwee Anderson wakes up most mornings just before dawn to start cooking… Continue reading

Although The City has been shut down and largely empty, people have enjoyed gathering in places such as Dolores Park. <ins>(Al Saracevic/The Examiner)</ins>
Come back to San Francisco: The City needs you now

Time to get out of the house, people. The City’s been lonely… Continue reading

A surveillance camera outside Macy’s at Union Square on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Is the tide turning against surveillance cameras in SF?

Crime-fighting camera networks are springing up in commercial areas all around San… Continue reading

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott speaks alongside Mayor London Breed at a news conference about 2019 crime statistics at SFPD headquarters on Jan. 21, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
What the media gets wrong about crime in San Francisco

By Lincoln Mitchell Special to The Examiner Seemingly every day now, you… Continue reading

Vice President Kamala Harris is under fire for her comments in Guatemala earlier this week. (Examiner file photo.)
SF immigration advocates slam Kamala Harris’ ‘betrayal’ to her past

Kamala Harris’ comments earlier this week discouraging Central Americans from traveling to… Continue reading

Most Read