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Judge in Hot Water for Buying Clerk a Beamer
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Tulare County Judge Saucedo

Summary: A judge found guilty of misconduct gave his clerk a BMW in an act of “mentorship.”

Move over, Ashley Madison. A Tulare County judge is raising eyebrows in the legal community over some extravagant gifts he bought his clerk. In addition to buying his clerk gifts worth thousands of dollars, Judge Valeriano Saucedo is accused of sending the young woman hundreds of text messages.


Allegations of the judge’s misconduct first surfaced approximately one year ago, and an investigation uncovered more issues this July. To make matters even worse, a disciplinary commission is claiming Saucedo lied about his misconduct. He faces removal from office for pressuring his clerk into an inappropriate relationship.

The July investigation found that he gifted his clerk $26,000 in extravagant items, including a BMW and a trip to Disneyland. His condition for giving the gifts was that she be his “special friend” and confide in him.

When the married clerk attempted to end the unwanted relationship, the judge threatened to kill himself. He’s been found guilty of the two most serious ethics violations–prejudicial and willful misconduct.

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The commission will determine his fate but has warned that lying made things worse. Gary Schons, counsel at Best Best & Krieger, has been assigned to present the case against Saucedo. Schons is recommending that the judge’s judicial title be removed, stating that he is a risk to the public since his lack of remorse and lies do not appropriately reflect how a person of the legal system should act. Schons claims Saucedo’s attempts to build a relationship with the clerk were “sinister and devious.”

Judge Saucedo has told the commission he only intended to serve as a mentor to the clerk, and that they never engaged in a sexual or romantic relationship. If this is the case then the commission is left to wonder why Saucedo “refused to admit important documented facts, failed to answer direct questions, and made affirmative misrepresentations” when the investigation was conducted.

Saucedo’s attorney says the judge was nervous, which caused his testimony to be stiff and unclear.




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