Court System Sex Abuse Payouts Shaft Taxpayers

K. Lloyd Billingsley – April 2, 2018

As we noted, during the last three years the state of California has paid out more than $25 million to settle sexual harassment claims against state agencies and public universities. The payouts ranged from $500 to $1.7 million, and the state did not volunteer the information or make it easy to find. As usual, the problem is much worse than the state portrays.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, “California’s court system paid more than $500,000 over seven years to resolve sexual harassment complaints against judges and staff.” The court system paid $296,000 to resolve three complaints against judges and $225,000 to settle two lawsuits against court staff. Outside attorneys and investigators burned up a full $79,750 and the more than $500,000 in reported spending “is likely less than the actual cost to taxpayers of resolving sexual harassment complaints against judges and staff.” This is because “county courts can resolve such cases themselves without reporting to the statewide council,” which reveals no names. It has emerged, however, that one settlement involved Tulare judge Valeriano Saucedo, booted from the bench for inappropriate behavior with his clerk Priscilla Tovar. She’s not disclosing the amount of the settlement, but the deal has something in common with the more than $25 million state agencies and universities have paid out in the last three years.

Embattled California taxpayers picked up the tab for all of it. Until the state makes abusers take responsibility for their own actions, and comes clean with the public, nothing is going to change.

This article was originally published by the Independent Institute. K. Lloyd Billingsley is the author of the books, Bill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield; Hollywood Party: How Communism Seduced the American Film Industry in the 1930s and 1940s; Exceptional Depravity: Dan Who Likes Dark and Double Murder in Davis, California; and From Mainline to Sideline: The Social Witness of the National Council of Churches. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Reason, National Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Daily News, San Diego Union-Tribune, Orange County Register, Detroit News and many other publications. He has also written for film, television and the stage.


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