SANDAG approves immediate retirement for executive director

SAN DIEGO -- The executive committee of the San Diego Association of Governments accepted Friday Executive Director Gary Gallegos' request to resign immediately rather than wait out a four-month notice period.

The embattled Gallegos announced his intention to resign last week. This Monday, however, he requested a waiver of a provision in his employment contract that required him to give 120 days notice of a resignation.

“Gary Gallegos’ departure from SANDAG is a big loss for our region, but his decision to step down will allow the Board to move forward with enhancing our regional mobility future,” said SANDAG Chair and County Supervisor Ron Roberts in a written statement. “Our County has benefitted tremendously from his talent at attracting federal and state grant funding, and building effective collaboration among stakeholders. His leadership is widely respected from the hallways of Washington, D.C. to our partners in Mexico.”

The SANDAG board  has already begun the search Gallegos' replacement, Roberts said.

SANDAG came under intense criticism after it was learned that some staff membersknew of faulty revenue projections associated with Measure A, a proposition to raise the countywide sales tax by a half-cent to fund transportation and environmental projects, but failed to inform board members or the public before the vote.

Measure A fell short of the two-thirds support necessary for passage in last November's election.

A recent investigation by an Orange County law firm commissioned by SANDAG primarily delved into details of the failed economic forecast but also found that agency executives ordered the deletion of documents related to the issue that were less than 60 days old.

SANDAG is also the subject of state legislation that would modify certain governance procedures.