Gallego Off the Hook

Ruben Gallego

Phoenix City Councilmen Michael Nowakowski’s chief aide is apparently off the hook after being accused of verbal harassment and creating a hostile work environment for a Phoenix College student. Nowakowski’s aide, Ruben Gallego, was accused of berating and intimidating 20-year-old intern, Maria Alaniz. (Arizona Republic article) Immediately after filing the complaint, Alaniz was laid off.

According to the Republic:

Gallego became upset, Alaniz said, when she failed to inform another councilman that Nowakowski was running late to a meeting.

According to Alaniz, Gallego called her into his office the morning of Feb. 4 and began yelling and pounding his desk so loud that it caught the attention of several aides working in other council offices on City Hall’s 11th floor.

Alaniz reported the incident that same day to the city’s Personnel Department, which referred her to the Equal Opportunity Department. She filed a formal complaint with EOD on Feb. 5.

“He (Gallego) was very unprofessional about it. He was aggressive towards me,” Alaniz, a political appointee, said of the meeting. “I filed two complaints against him, and right after that they let me go.”

EOD later dismissed Alaniz’s complaint, saying it did not constitute discrimination or harassment and therefore did not violate the city’s administrative policies.

Gallego, 29, said he regrets Alaniz felt uncomfortable and characterized the outburst as a “momentary lapse,” but he pointed out that Alaniz was not listening and interrupting him. He said he doesn’t recall pounding his hands on his desk.

“My aim was to make her realize what she did was a big mistake and that she understood what steps she should take to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future,” Gallego said.

Gallego said Alaniz’s position had been slated for elimination as early as December.

But less than an hour after the Feb. 4 incident, he sent an e-mail to council Chief of Staff Penny Parrella and another staffer regarding Alaniz.

“When you have a chance I would like to talk to you about Maria Alaniz,” Gallego wrote. “Her time as an intern is up.”

Alaniz had been employed with the city for nearly three years. She had been hired as an intern in 2006 by then-Councilman Doug Lingner, who recommended Alaniz for the full-time intern job when Nowakowski took over his council seat two years later.

Nowakowski said he was hurt by Alaniz’s allegations. He and his wife had paid tuition for Alaniz’s first semester of college, and Gallego had inquired earlier this year about finding her another position in the city.

If Gallego’s name sounds familiar, that’s because he is a liberal political activist. In fact, Gallego was featured in a sham advertisement put out by the Harry Mitchell campaign. I checked my sources and found that very ad at the website, Gallego was one of the only veterans who Mitchell could find to shill for him in the recent CD-5 elections.


  1. Kenny Jacobs says

    All time SA low. No.Shame.Here.

  2. @Kenny

    Maybe I missed it …

    What’s the ‘All time SA low.”?

  3. Again, SA not only missing facts but even details… this blog always gives me a smile.

  4. His name is not even Gallegos. His real name, or at least original name is Marinelarena or something like that. In college at “Harvard” he was Ruben Marinelarena, then he worked for Gores campaign and then came to phoenix to work on Nowakowski campaign and changed his name to Gallegos.
    I wonder why?

  5. Sheesh you guys are pathetic!

    SA is a bunch of unemployed or underemployed losers who pretend that they need to be anonymous so as not to jeopardize their high profile jobs.

    Having said that, did it feel good to take a shot at a decorated combat veteran? Gallegos was a member of Lima Company, the Marine Corps unit with the highest number of fatalities in the Iraq war. This is a man who risked his life for his country, and you won’t even risk him finding out your real name.

    Did it make you feel like a real man to take a shot at him? Did it make you feel tough?

    I don’t care who he endorsed or what his political stripes are; you guys are PATHETIC.

  6. Ms. Palsgraaf says

    I am a Republican, and have been friends with Ruben Gallego for several years. We’ve been groomsmen together in a bipartisan wedding, and we currently play on a bipartisan recreational trivia team, and have for the past two years.

    While I disagree with Ruben’s political endorsements–with the exception of his support for his boss, Michael Nowakowski (anyone who can beat the Pastor machine in central Phoenix should have our respect)– nobody can deny Ruben is a true hero.

    I’ve never seen Ruben lose his temper or act inappropriately. He’s always been respectful and kind in every setting I’ve seen him in.

    And as for his name, I’d remind “Ronald” that President Gerald Ford was born Leslie Lynch King, Jr. President Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe.

    Ronald, I’d think long and hard about what a young man would have to witness his father do to make him want to change his name, and then I’d shut my mouth about it.

    Leave this hero alone.

  7. People,

    Why is everyone on defense for this guy!?!?!

    The Republic said he was exonerated. Did you not read that?

    While he may be a decorated Marine veteran and deserving of any awards and accommodations – and I certainly applaud him for his service – the guy is a liberal political activist. Lest I remind you that even John Kerry and Al Gore were in the military?

  8. Betty Crocker says

    Hey Jim, (I’m sorry, Ms. Palsgraaf) just because you and Ruben paraded around Chris DeRose’s wedding together, doesn’t mean Ruben is bi-partisan or some saint. That guy has some serious issues that make him a nightmare in any politically sensitive position. His paranoia towards the mayor’s office and other city council offices is widely known. His horrible relationships with other council chief-of-staffs and city personnel is also well-known. His alienation of developers, constiuents and people in his own party make it difficult for anyone to want to work with Nowakowski or his office. This is now the second scandal coming from Nowakowski’s office in the past year (that the public knows of). How much longer is Nowakowski going to allow Gallego to run his opportunity for higher office into the ground (we all know he’s gunning to be mayor)? If Nowakowski was smart, he would quietly find another position for Gallego and appoint someone who has tact and an ability to communicate without burning every bridge in town.

  9. Palsgraaf,
    As others will confirm, most people that have to work with your “hero” think he is an arrogant ass.
    What kind of republican are you if you hang out with this extreme partisan liberal dem?
    What the hell is a bi-partisan trivia group?
    Is that some wine and cheese elitist group where you and Ruben hang out with reporters from new times, have drinks and laugh about the fools you constantly hood wink?
    Nowakowski ran his campaign with signs that said ” Enforce the Law “. What law was he talking about? Many people assumed he meant enforcing the law as in all the laws including immigration. But Nowakowski is the President of Radio Campesina, the Farmworkers Union radio station that is the main source of info for illegals.
    Ruben (and probably you) were in on the joke and even had some republicans, including STan Barnes, supporting Nowakowski.
    How do you help extreme liberal Farm Worker Illegal Alien radio station people get into elected office and then call yourself a repblican?
    As for the name change, what do you mean if I knew what his dad did? Of course I dont know, there must be some kind of story to it and since you opened the issue, please share it with us.

  10. Nowakowskis offic has hired a string of losers. One guy was tryig to get bribes from a zoning attorney, Gallego is just a loose cannon. Nowakowski has a bad record on hiring.

    It cracks me up that NOW Gallego is trying to look bipartisan. He’s the vice chair of the Democratic party for the state. He is all about being a big D. Until it’s inconvenient, then he’s bipartisan. F that.

    Gallego sells out to anyone with some cash and a little power. Someone should tell him he was not elected to the office.

  11. Zachary Cook says

    This is ridiculous. I worked with this guy fairly closely for about three months in a non-official capacity and “arrogant and mean” would be the furthest you could get from a description of Ruben. He is a class act, a war hero, and a legitimately nice guy. But, what do you expect from a blog full of right wing hacks?

  12. Fact Witness says

    All I have to say is that I witnessed Ruben Gallegos, not once, but twice, stick his finger in the face of two ladies. If it was a man, he would have had his butt kicked. I don’t know him personally but what I saw was scary. I feel bad for the young lady intern. She needs to know she is not alone. He obviously has a problem with women.

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