Secret Settlements Obtained: Four  of California's Top Women Judges Silence and Bully #METOO Victims

Judge Manoukian and Family Cheated: Family Feud

​Donald Trump may have been  right when he said America wasn’t ready to have a woman lead the country. Arguably, four women in particular  shouldn’t continue to lead California’s courts given the job they have done thus far.

On 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 during the #metoo movement that swung attention to Judge Persky as Manoukian issued countless harmful rulings to women, and her husband remains a controversial judge in Santa Clara County, where he has  a reputation for abusing his power and female members of the local legal community. 

The Manoukians reportedly benefited from cheating while appearing on a popular  television game show cheating scandal, conduct that has continued to define their character, and legal rulings, as they climbed California’s Judicial ladder. 

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, and county lawyers, settled out sexual harassment claims. 

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, then rose to the Sixth District Court of Appeal, known for rulings that disfavor women and families. 

As Tani was blasting Rushing, she was silent on the countless settlements the court, ( HINT: TAX PAYERS), had been secretly paying off for years.

A summary is as follows: 

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 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. 

Alameda County deemed one employee’s emotional distress was only worth $25,000 a 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 didn’t bother redacting her 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. If court employees , or judges, are acting improperly and agreements are secretly concealing their conduct, hundreds , if not hundreds of thousands of cases may have been mismanaged by the courts, where criminal activity parades about subverting and obstructing justice for court users. 

Three women are entirely to blame for this culture and gross mismanagement of the courts. 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 the sheer waste of public funds in paying off sexual harassment claims of judges and court employees. 

The worst may be the state’s top judge, Tani  Cantil Sakauye, who has gone on a personal PR campaign with NPR and in print media that treat her favorably. She knew and she has single handedly destroyed public confidence in California’s legal system, leaving her as the low hanging fruit for President Trump, DOJ, and social media that can’t be scrubbed with pricy reputation web clean up  services. 

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!