County zips lips on Angove resignation

September 23, 2001 11:00 pm

By Jennifer Grimes

Triplicate staff writer

Jeannine Galatioto was named Del Norte County Administrative Officer yesterday shortly after the Board of Supervisors formally accepted the abrupt resignation of former CAO Ben Angove.

Galatioto served as assistant to Angove until he handed in his resignation amidst a criminal investigation of him by the sheriffs office Thursday.

She served in this capacity once before when former CAO Tim Goodman faced charges and was convicted of embezzling from county coffers.

Ive done it before. It just means more volume. In fact, I helped Ben make the transition into the job, Galatioto said.

Yesterdays meeting was set for the purpose of considering Angoves resignation and to appoint a CAO.

Supervisors Chuck Blackburn and Clyde Eller were out of town when Angove resigned and missed yesterdays public meeting.

Clerk of the board Karen Phillips and county counsel Bob Black were also out of town.

Assistant county counsel Michael Mazzei filled in for Black, but refused to answer any questions about the reasons for Angoves resignation. Nor did Mazzei acknowledge whether investigators had visited Angoves county office to search or seize property there.

Its common to keep personnel issues confidential, Mazzei said.

The Daily Triplicate has made a formal request for any and all documents in county hands related to Angoves resignation.

Board Chair Martha McClure did say an order to search Angoves office came from either the Del Norte County Sheriffs Department or the district attorneys office. The hard drive on Angoves office computer was examined, she said.

McClure said its her understanding Angoves resignation is not related to his performance as CAO, but has to do with issues in his personal life.

Thursday, Commander Tony Luis of the Sheriffs Department did say Angove is being investigated by his office, but he and Sheriff Jim Maready referred all questions about it to the district attorneys office.

D.A. Bob Drossel said he would not comment on the investigation. When asked if computers were taken from Angoves home or if his home was searched, Drossel said he would not confirm or deny it.

Drossel also denied access to any incident reports relating to the investigation of Angoves home or office.

But, I think the sheriff would tell you there is no concern for the safety of local citizens, Drossel said.

Yesterdays public meeting was attended by more than 30 members of the public, including some recently laid-off employees of the Mental Health Department.