On July 8, three Special Masters for California’s Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) filed their Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law regarding their inquest of Judge Valeriano Saucedo of Tulare County Superior Court.
Pivotally, the tribunal found Tovar’s testimony at trial compelling while alternately characterizing Saucedo’s testimony as lacking in credibility.
Indeed, the tribunal took particular issue with Judge Saucedo’s defense where he blamed Tovar for the scandal.
“Although the evidence also shows Tovar at times exercised poor judgment in responding to Judge Saucedo’s overtures, her actions do not excuse or explain Judge Saucedo’s behavior.It is Judge Saucedo’s conduct that is at issue here, not Tovar’s.”
His inquest arguably call into question the integrity of every single case he has ever administrated in his 14 September to mid-November [of 2013], Judge Saucedo violated canons requiring judges to adhere to “high standards of conduct,” preserve the “integrity” of the judiciary, and “act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity . . . of the judiciary.”
He also violated judicial canons by engaging in the practice of law on one occasion, making a false representation about Tovar’s claimed overtime work, and improperly interfering with an administrative matter to further his own personal agenda.
While the CJP limited its main review to a three-month period in 2013 in which Saucedo doggedly pursued Priscilla Tovar’s favor, it is perhaps no coincidence this same time period overlaps with another matter involving Judge Saucedo previously reported in the Valley Voice.
The seizure and destruction of over thirty of William Fabricius’ dogs by Tulare County Animal Control, followed by a bill to Fabricius from the County for over $30,000 for same, was initiated by a warrant issued by Judge Saucedo.