Judge Manoukian and Family Cheated: Family Feud
Arguably, when one considers California's most powerful judges are now more likely to be women, four women in particular are being investigated in a manner that indicates they may not only deserve to be removed from the bench, but stipped of their pensions and criminally prosecuted for "settlement fixing " where state court employees and judges are concerned.
One of those women is Judge Manoukian, a Sixth District Court of Appeal Judge, who reportedly conspired with Judge Lucas, and others, to discredit male judges as the #metoo movement swung attention to Judge Persky.
As a judge on one of the most influential appellate courts, Manoukian has issued countless harmful rulings to women, as her husband has been reportedly harassing and abusing his power as a superior court judge.
The Manoukians reportedly benefited from tax cheating while appearing on a popular television game show in the 1980s , where the game was rigged much like the courts in cases where the Manoukins have been employed for the last two decades as they climbed California's Judicial ladder.
SECRET SETTLEMENTS SHOW TAX CHEATING IN THE COURTS TO BENEFIT LAWYERS AND JUDGES
Q has obtained hundreds of redacted settlement agreements that show California courts have been paying millions of dollars in secret settlements to court employees, and others, after judges and high ranking court managers sexually harassed and harmed hundreds of victims. Not only did tax payers pay for these settlements, the court employees and judges got legal defense and payments paid with public funds as well.
Tani- Cantil Sakauye, California's Chief Justice, went on a PR campaign in late 2017 , more as damage control and to lead the public into believing that Conrad Rushing was the only sexual harasser in the court system. Rushing had begun his career on the bench in the corrupt Santa Clara County family law community. Rushing then rose to the Sixth District Court of Appeal, where he was known for rulings that disfavor women and families.
As Tani was blasting Rushing, she was silent on the countless settlements she knew had been secretly being paid for decades.
A summary of such settlements includes:
Santa Clara County paid $150,000 in June of 2013, just before bilking tax payers for a new family courthouse and claiming they couldn't afford to give clerks a raise. This is the same time period that court CEO, David Yamasaki, was reported stealing palm trees and other construction materials from the courthouse construction site. Yamasaki was relocated to Orange County six months later. He was known as one of the most corrupt court CEOs as the Judicial Council decorated him with awards.
Alameda County deemed one employee's emotional distress was only worth $25,000 and sent the employee packing with a gag order, inability to sue under any state or federal right, and no ability to seek reemployment with the state courts. A rather harsh sentence for trying to blow the whistle on a judge. Judge Wynne Carvill thought the agreement was fair and signed it in 2016.
Tulare County deemed Priscilla Tovar's emotional distress was only worth $120,000 and the courts didn't bother redacting this victim's name, or that of co-defendant Valeriano Saucedo.
Alpine County paid one employee just $2500, with no re- employment, no ability to sue in the future, and full release of state and federal claims.
In El Dorado County judge Suzanne Kingsbury, Judge Steven Bailey and Judge James Wagoner were all protected by tax payers, and this victim got only $36,250 in a secret settlement signed by Judge Kingsbury on behalf of the court and its judges on April 30, 2015. The shady lawyer protecting the judges, also a woman, was attorney Carolee Kilduff, who was rewarded otherwise following this matter.
In Lassen County they discounted sexual harassment again to obtain releases "favorable to the court", and to Ms, Barone, a former court employee, and in an effort to protect Judge Verderosa. In that case attorney Patricia Savage got $46,150 for writing up the agreement , and the victim got $88,850 for largely emotional distress, and agreeing to be silenced on a whistleblower complaint.
In San Bernardino County attorney Lawrence Schaefer got paid as did the law firm of Paul, Plevin , Sullivan & Connaughton and a secret settlement slipped off into the night, air tight with gag and no right to sue clauses.
These agreements are disturbing. There is an appearance that complaints are being directed away from the state's whistleblower program and settled so they are off radar of the State Auditor. Further, tax payers are paying for judges and lawyers to get away with immoral, unprofessional and illegal conduct, as these individuals are charged to apply the law.
Court watchers point to three additional female judges who are largely to blame for allowing this culture, and cost to the public, to continue.
Judge Erica Yew and Judge Patricia Lucas, both of Santa Clara County Superior Court hold positions on the Commission of Judicial Performance, and the Judicial Council. They knew of these agreements and of the harm to the public and they not only covered it up, they lied to law makers in order to assure funding of over $250,000,000 in this year's budget for California's courts.
THANKS FOR HELPIN Q CATCH THE BAD GUYS, and GALS!
Q would like to thank the loyal readers from the legal community. In the past six months it has been reported that judges and lawyers throughout the state are regular readers of Q, some often providing tips through email or social media.
Last week it was reported that Santa Clara County Superior Court General Counsel Lisa Herrick is a regular reader, while being paid as a state lawyer. Ms. Herrick has been known to send threatening emails to Q as far back as 2017, from a state email account, and for her attempts to use her public employment to protect Santa Clara County Judges during highly contested recall campaigns.
Along with the help of lawyers like Lisa Herrick, this site has reached over 25,000 visitors per day!