Judicial Performance Commission Removes Saucedo from Office

The Commission on Judicial Performance has issued a decision and order removing Judge Valeriano Saucedo, of the Tulare County Superior Court, from office. The commission’s determination becomes final in 30 days, subject to discretionary review by the California Supreme Court.

The commission ordered Judge Saucedo removed from office for a course of conduct toward his courtroom clerk that included manufacturing an anonymous letter that accused her in crude terms of having an affair with a court bailiff, using the letter and numerous gifts worth thousands of dollars in an attempt to pressure the clerk into a close, personal relationship, and providing legal advice to her son. After the clerk informed the judge that she was going to request a transfer from his department, he deposited $8,000 into her bank account. Later that day, during a court proceeding, the judge gave a note to the clerk, accusing her of extortion, in an attempt to intimidate the clerk and ensure her silence. Judge Saucedo denied writing the anonymous letter and the other essential facts of the case, blaming the clerk for his misconduct, and claiming he was only “mentoring” her. The commission found that significant portions of the judge’s testimony lacked credibility.

The commission stated that “[t]he deceitful, calculated and unseemly nature of the judge’s misconduct, compounded by his lack of candor in response to the commission’s investigation and untruthful testimony under oath before the masters” compelled his removal from office. The commission found that the judge’s highly improper course of conduct violated numerous canons of the Code of Judicial Ethics and was committed in bad faith. The commission found that some of the judge’s conduct was undertaken in a judicial capacity and therefore constituted willful misconduct, the most serious constitutional basis for censure or removal of a judge. However, the commission stated that even if the judge had not been acting in a judicial capacity, “the entirety of his misconduct warrants removal.” While recognizing and appreciating the judge’s many contributions to his community and the legal profession, the commission concluded, “Certain misconduct is so completely at odds with the core qualities and role of a judge that no amount of mitigation can redeem the seriousness of the wrongdoing or obviate the need for removal in order to fulfill our mandate to protect the public, enforce high 2 standards of judicial conduct, and maintain public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary. This is such a case.”

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  1. There are still many other judges as corrupt (or nearly) as, as this judge. I’ve been a political prisoner of this court and its back channel way of doing things since 2008. So I can tell you a lot about this court/county. From what I can see, the CJP still needs to remove over half of this corrupt court’s judges if it really seeks to protect the public. Tulare County Superior Court (particularly with this latest event) has such a developed history of judicial corruption, that anyone performing even a basic level investigation will uncover other judges like Broadman (http://www.judgebroadman.com/wall.html) and Drew.

    I’ve been investigating TCSC since 2008. So my investigation is leagues deep, and I can tell you, removing Saucedo is a band aid on a bullethole. There’s the Tharp matter which insiders will remember spawned professor William Bassett to opine, to wit:

    “The record of the trial court’s negligence, legal incompetence and, indeed, blatant partiality…
    is simply shocking. There is strong evidence of the judge’s ignorance of the law or the role of
    a court in family law actions. So serious was the miscarriage of justice that the judge sitting on
    the case was removed and replaced…. In a word, the case is a sad narrative of a wealthy
    spouse working with a corrupt court to simply gang up on the spouse and spend her out of court.
    (Bassett on California Community Property Law, 2012 ed., p. 1186-1187; emphasis added.)

    When i talked to Bassett he firmly stood by his statement immediately. There were a number of complaints against Saucedo lodged with the CJP. What is sad to me is that he was removed for some things he did in his life that frankly, if you look at most of the populace like he has been published, he’s like most everyone. It was his self-professed love of power that ultimately pulled him to impulsively ruin his career. Just like the many lives he destroyed himself judicially as he was doing the same thing.

    I’m still intent on flushing the toilet on Tulare County’s Brobdingnag, where this guy did his scurrying. Because there are still many, many court officers still around who need to go even more than Saucy.

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