Did San Mateo County Adult Protective Services, Protect & Advocate Properly for Firoz Jaffer? Elder Abuse Victim.

 

October 15, 2017 3:56AM Firoz Jaffer called 911 to report an assault on him and his grandchildren by his son Zainali Jaffer. Hillsborough Police responded within minutes to the home at 1026 Lancaster Lane, Hillsborough, California. San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Firoz Jaffer was Beaten when he tried to stop his son from sexually assaulted his 3 year old son in the back yard. Here is a description from a press release by the District Attorney’s Office about one of the Court Dates.

Peo. v. Zainali Jaffer (2-16-88), Hillsborough Police Department 664- 288.7(B)/288(B)(1)/245(A)(4)/273A(A)-Two Counts/243(B) Misdemeanor October 15, 2017; Defendant Is 29 Year Old Hillsborough Resident And Former CEO Of Mobile Advertising Company “Vungle”; At 3:56AM Sunday Morning Police Were Dispatched To Defendant’s Home In 1000 Block Of Lancaster Road In Hillsborough; They Were Met By Defendant’s Father Who Was Cut And Bleeding In Face From Being Beaten By Defendant; Father Directed Police To Backyard Where Officers Found The Naked Defendant On Top Of And Sexually Assaulting His Three Year Old Son Who Was Screaming; Officers Approached And Defendant Started Choking The Victim With His Legs; The Defendant Ignored Orders To Stop And Kept Choking The Child; Officers Had To Use Taser To Control The Defendant; The Defendant Continued To Resist The Officers And Spat At The Sergeant; The Officers Determined That Defendant Had Also Punched And Struck His One Year Old Daughter As Well As The Three Year Old Son And Beat His Father When The Father Tried To Intervene; 17-NF-012415-A (DDA Sharon K. Cho) 

-The case was set in SSF Felony Court, Dept. 9, Judge Stephanie G. Garratt, for the preliminary hearing. The defense written section 1050 motion to continue the hearing in order to conduct further investigation and preparation and based on a new attorney added to the defense was granted without prosecution objection. The case was continued to January 31, 2018 9:00 for the preliminary hearing with a 90 minute estimate. This will be the second setting of the preliminary hearing date since the initial felony arraignment on October 17, 2017. The defendant’s father failed to appear in court despite the fact he was served with a subpoena. The defense attorney represented the father returned to his home in England. At the request of the prosecution, the court issued a $25,000 bench warrant for the witness’s arrest. The defendant remains out of custody on $300,000 bail bond (posted on October 26, 2017). The defense attorney is Daniel Olmos (retained). 

My question is did APS offer and provide all the services needed for him to be safe and have an advocate to explain the legal process for example “It is Illegal for you to leave the Country after you have been served a subpoena.” You are the key witness besides the 3 police officers and the body camera videos etc.

Michael Callagy should Audit San Mateo County on this case, including CPS.

By Michael G. Stogner

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San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe fails to Mention Motion to Dismiss the Entire Zain Jaffer case.

The Zain Jaffer case was dismissed July 2, 2018. That is a fact.

San Mateo County should Audit this case and determine if Audit of CPS imperative.

 

The decision to dismiss the entire Zain Jaffer case must have been made before this Media Update of Cases of Interest was sent out. What date was it decided to dismiss the case? What date was the motion to dismiss prepared? What date was the motion to dismiss filed with the court? The reason I ask these questions is that Zain Jaffer read a prepared statement in court written before hand by a public relations firm, so they all knew this was going to happen.

COUNTY OF SAN MATEO INTER-DEPARTMENTAL MEMORANDUM 

TO: MEDIA MEMBERS 

FROM: STEPHEN M. WAGSTAFFE, DISTRICT ATTORNEY 

Media Notes For Monday, July 2, 2018 

CASES OF INTEREST IN COURT TODAY 

Peo. v. Zainali Jaffer (2-16-88), Hillsborough Police Department 664- 288.7(B)/288(B)(1)/245(A)(4)/273A(A)-Two Counts/243(B) Misdemeanor October 15, 2017; Defendant Is 29 Year Old Hillsborough Resident And Former CEO Of Mobile Advertising Company “Vungle”; At 3:56AM Sunday Morning Police Were Dispatched To Defendant’s Home In 1000 Block Of Lancaster Road In Hillsborough; They Were Met By Defendant’s Father Who Was Cut And Bleeding In Face From Being Beaten By Defendant; Father Directed Police To Backyard Where Officers Found The Naked Defendant On Top Of And Sexually Assaulting His Three Year Old Son Who Was Screaming; Officers Approached And Defendant Started Choking The Victim With His Legs; The Defendant Ignored Orders To Stop And Kept Choking The Child; Officers Had To Use Taser To Control The Defendant; The Defendant Continued To Resist The Officers And Spat At The Sergeant; The Officers Determined That Defendant Had Also Punched And Struck His One Year Old Daughter As Well As The Three Year Old Son And Beat His Father When The Father Tried To Intervene; 17-NF-012415-A (DDA Sharon K. Cho)
-The case is set at 1:30 in Dept. 9, Criminal Presiding Judge Stephanie G. Garratt, for the pretrial conference. The case is set on August 27, 2018 8:30 for jury trial. This is the third setting of the jury trial date since the superior court arraignment on February 15, 2018. The defendant is out of custody on $300,000 bail bond (posted on October 26, 2017). The defense attorney is Daniel Olmos (retained) and Patrick Clancey (retained). 

Here are the charges minus the Attempted Murder Charge the Hillsborough Police called for.

COUNT 1: PC664/PC288.7(b) (Felony) 

On or about October 15, 2017, in the County of San Mateo, State of California, the crime of Attempted Oral Copulation With Child 10 Years Old Or Younger in violation of PC664/PC288.7(b), a Felony, was committed in that ZAINALI JAFFER being a person 18 years of age or older, did attempt to engage in oral copulation with John Doe (3 years old), a child who was 10 years of age or younger. NOTICE: Conviction of this offense will require you to register pursuant to Penal Code section 290. Willful failure to register is a crime. NOTICE: The above offense is a serious felony within the meaning of Penal Code Section 1192.7(c) and a violent felony within the meaning of Penal Code Section 667.5(c). 

COUNT 2: PC288(b)(1) (Felony) 

On or about October 15, 2017, in the County of San Mateo, State of California, the crime of Forcible Lewd Act Upon Child in violation of PC288(b)(1), a Felony, was committed in that ZAINALI JAFFER did willfully, unlawfully, and lewdly commit a lewd and lascivious act upon or with the body or certain parts or members thereof of John Doe (3 years old), a child under the age of fourteen years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of the said defendant, ZAINALI JAFFER or the said child, by use of force, violence, duress, menace, or threat of great bodily harm. NOTICE: The above offense is a serious felony within the meaning of Penal Code Section 1192.7(c) and a violent felony within the meaning of Penal Code Section 667.5(c) NOTICE: Conviction of this offense will require you to register pursuant to Penal Code section 290. Willful failure to register is a crime. NOTICE: Conviction of this offense will require the court to order you to submit to a blood test for evidence of antibodies to the probable causative agent of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Penal Code Section 1202.1. 

COUNT 3: PC245(a)(4) (Felony) 

On or about October 15, 2017, in the County of San Mateo, State of California, the crime of Assault By Means Likely To Produce Great Bodily Injury in violation of PC245(a)(4), a Felony, was committed in that ZAINALI JAFFER did willfully and unlawfully commit an assault on Firoz Jaffer by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. 

COUNT 4: PC273A(a) (Felony) 

On or about October 15, 2017, in the County of San Mateo, State of California, the crime of Child Abuse in violation of PC273A(a), a Felony, was committed in that ZAINALI JAFFER did willfully and unlawfully, under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm or death, injure, cause, or permit a child, John Doe (3 years old), to suffer or to be inflicted with unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or, having the care and custody of said child, injure, cause, or permit the person or health of said child to be injured or did willfully cause or permit said child to be placed in such situation that his/her person or health was/were endangered. 

COUNT 5: PC273A(a) (Felony) 

On or about October 15, 2017, in the County of San Mateo, State of California, the crime of Child Abuse in violation of PC273A(a), a Felony, was committed in that ZAINALI JAFFER did willfully and unlawfully, under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm or death, injure, cause, or permit a child, Jane Doe (1 year old), to suffer or to be inflicted with unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering, or, having the care and custody of said child, injure, cause, or permit the person or health of said child to be injured or did willfully cause or permit said child to be placed in such situation that his/her person or health was/were endangered. 

COUNT 6: PC243(b) (Misdemeanor) 

On or about October 15, 2017, in the County of San Mateo, State of California, the crime of Battery Upon A Peace Officer in violation of PC243(b), a Misdemeanor, was committed in that ZAINALI JAFFER did willfully and unlawfully use force or violence upon the person of Peter Gould when said defendant, ZAINALI JAFFER, knew or reasonably should have known that said person was a peace officer engaged in the performance of his duties. Pursuant to Penal Code Section 1054.5(b), the People are hereby informally requesting that defendant(s) and his or her attorney provide to the People the discovery required by Penal Code Section 1054.3. This is a continuing request pursuant to the provisions of Penal Code Section 1054.7. 

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct except for those things stated on information and belief and those I believe to be true. 

Executed on October 17, 2017, at San Mateo County, California. 

Also here is an e-mail to reporter at the PADP where he is describing a witness from the P.H. Jan. 31, 2018

From: Steve Wagstaffe
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 4:01 PMTo: Emily Mibach
Subject: People v. Jaffer

Hi Emily,

Here is the description of the testimony by the instructor:

DEFENSE THEN CALLED MARTIN ROMUALDEZ, D’S JIU-JITSU INSTRUCTOR FOR 6 MTHS PRIOR TO INCIDENT, AND THEN CALLED OFC REY. MR. ROMUALDEZ TESTIFIED THAT WHAT HE OBSERVED ON THE BODY CAM FOOTAGES WAS THE DEF PERFORMING A JIU-JITSU MOVE THAT HE HAD BEEN TRAINED IN (ARM BAR/TRIANGLE). MR. ROMUALDEZ ADMITTED HOWEVER THAT IN THE NUMEROUS PRACTICE SESSIONS WHERE D AND HIS SON JOHN DOE WERE INVOLVED THAT D WAS NEVER NAKED, THAT IT DID NOT RESULT IN ANY SCREAMING ON THE PART OF JOHN DOE, THAT JOHN DOE DID NOT APPEAR TO BE IN PAIN, THAT JOHN DOE WAS NEVER INJURED OR TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL. INSTRUCTOR FURTHER ADMITTED THERE IS NO JIU-JITSU MOVE THAT INVOLVES INSERTING FINGERS INTO ONE’S ANUS OR SELF-STIMULATING IN THAT MANNER, AND THAT THE PRACTICE SESSION S WITH D AND HIS SON NEVER INVOLVED ANY KIND OF TRASH TALK OR LANGUAGE SUCH AS “PUSSY.”

San Mateo County should Audit this case and that includes Audit of CPS.

By Michael G. Stogner

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CPS workers criminal case moves forward, They each face 10 yrs in Prison. Gabriel Fernandez R.I.P.

San Mateo County CPS should be Audited ASAP for the Zain Jaffer children case. See if they acted independent of the District Attorney very suspect dismissal of the entire case as they are supposed to do. Hillsborough Police arrested him for Attempted Murder.

L.A. Social workers’ charges upheld in boy’s death
SOCIAL workers Kevin Bom, left, Stefanie Rodriguez, Gregory Merritt and Patricia Clement, in court Thursday, face charges in Gabriel Fernandez’s death. (Irfan Khan Los Angeles Times)
By Richard Winton and Corina Knoll
A Los Angeles County judge on Thursday denied a motion to dismiss child abuse and other charges against four social workers in the killing of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, concluding that the Palmdale boy’s death had been “foreseeable.”
“I have spent a lot of time, needless to say, on the case,” Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli said. “This isn’t something I did by the seat of my pants.”
The ruling came more than a year after another judge concluded that “red flags were everywhere” before Gabriel was killed by his mother and her boyfriend, and that the social workers mishandled evidence of escalating abuse and failed to file timely reports.
Gabriel died in May 2013 after months of torture and abuse, prosecutors say.
His death became a symbol of bureaucratic failure and propelled far-reaching reforms within L.A. County’s child welfare system. In 2016, the case took a highly unusual turn when prosecutors accused the four former Department of Children and Family Services employees of felony child abuse and falsifying public records.
Thursday, Lomeli said the social workers had not properly documented the abuse nor the mother’s repeated refusal to attend counseling. The judge said he had reviewed the voluminous case files and noted that the defendants had overruled a scoring system set up to detect danger to children.
The defendants demonstrated “an improper regard for human life” and “a lack of vigilance,” Lomeli said.
Defense attorneys argued that Gabriel had not been in the care and custody of the social workers and that there was no willful gross negligence. Lomeli, they said, was judging the child protection agency and not their clients. They plan to appeal the decision.
“We are confident in our client’s case when all the facts come out at trial,” said Lance M. Filer, an attorney for former social worker Stefanie Rodriguez.
Outside the courtroom, another defendant, Patricia Clement, sobbed.
Prosecutors alleged that caseworkers Clement and Rodriguez, along with supervisors Kevin Bom and Gregory Merritt, ignored evidence of repeated abuse and minimized Gabriel’s injuries. They each face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
The case marks the first time that L.A. County social workers have faced criminal charges in performing their duties, prosecutors said, and is one of only a handful of such cases filed nationwide in recent decades. The decision by Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey to prosecute the employees surprised many child protection experts, who worried the decision could make it more difficult to recruit social workers.
The boy’s mother, Pearl Sinthia Fernandez, pleaded guilty this year to first-degree murder in Gabriel’s death and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. A jury convicted her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, of murder, and he was sentenced to death.
In sentencing the pair in June, Lomeli characterized the killing as “horrendous, inhumane and nothing short of evil.”
richard.winton@latimes.com
Twitter: @lacrimes
corina.knoll@latimes.com
Twitter: @corinaknoll
Times staff writer Marisa Gerber contributed to this report.

For those readers who are new to the idea that it is up to the residents/citizens to make sure CPS Social Workers are not above the law. This video should prove that point.

Attorney supports Fraud & Perjury

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Coastal Commission a Tax Payer Story.

LA Times 9/14/2018

Coastal officials let off the hook
MARK VARGAS was fined $13,600 for rule violations. But taxpayers, not he and four other guilty coastal officials, will foot the bill — and that was never in doubt. (David Royal For The Times)
STEVE LOPEZ
Ever since five current and former California coastal commissioners were found guilty this spring of breaking rules designed to ensure fairness and transparency, one question has remained unanswered:
Who’s going to pay for their sins?
We now have the answer.
Any guesses?
Walk over to a mirror, take a good look and reach for your wallet.
We just got stuck with a bill of roughly $1 million because five people chose not to follow easily understandable rules meant to ensure that their private meetings were fairly and fully reported before they voted on beach projects. And if that’s not insulting enough, try this:
There was never any doubt as to who would pay if they were found guilty, not that anyone let us in on that little detail.
And here’s the irony:
In a lawsuit over conversations that took place out of public view, a pretrial decision was made by the Coastal Commission — also out of public view — to indemnify the commissioners against liability for payment if they lost.
“The law entitles the commissioners to representation by the state absent malice, fraud or corruption,” said a Coastal Commission statement released late Thursday afternoon by spokeswoman Noaki Schwartz. “This Commission earlier agreed to indemnify the defendants to the full extent provided by law.”
The thinking behind that decision was that the commissioners, who claimed they did no wrong, were just trying their best to do their jobs as public servants, so defending them should be a public expense.
But a judge didn’t buy their claim of total innocence. So former commissioners Steve Kinsey, Wendy Mitchell and Martha McClure were fined $30,300, $7,100 and $2,600, respectively, by a San Diego County Superior Court judge in a case that went to trial early this year and has just concluded.
They won’t pay a nickel.
Current commissioners Mark Vargas and Erik Howell were fined $13,600 and $3,500.
They won’t pay a dime.
The judge also tapped them for $959,000 in attorney’s fees and court costs.
But we’re picking up that bill, too.
“This is unbelievable,” former Coastal Commission lawyer Ralph Faust said.
With indemnification going in, Faust said, the accused commissioners couldn’t lose.
“They got a defense on the theory they were innocent,” he said, “and indemnification in case it turned out they were guilty.”
“Oh, what a charade,” said Kathryn Burton, a retired attorney and president of Spotlight on Coastal Corruption, which filed suit against the commissioners in 2016 alleging hundreds of rules violations. “This means that this could be done for anyone, not just coastal commissioners, and it sets a horrible precedent. And I really question the legality of it.”
The suit came about because in California, decisions on coastal development and land use are a game of money, power and access. Although the coastal commissioners perform quasi-judicial duties, they’re allowed to have private conversations with parties prior to ruling on projects.
Most of these conversations are with proponents of projects rather than opponents, often through well-paid and politically connected lobbyists.
There’s an easy way to avoid shady business. Just outlaw these private communications. But powerful forces have managed to keep them in place, even though it’s not always possible for the public to know precisely what was discussed over dinner or drinks.
The Times exposed dozens of cases of commissioners failing to make full accounts of conversations, turning in the reports late, not turning them in at all or letting lobbyists write the accounts of what was discussed.
And I don’t buy the defense’s argument that the real problem was a lousy filing system and no clear education on the rules of private, or ex parte, meetings.
By early indications, the $1 million in costs could get carved out of an already tight Coastal Commission budget of about $28 million. If so, that could mean layoffs and less protection of the coast. In other words, we just keep getting sand kicked in our faces. The only good to come of this was that commissioners have been put on notice, going forward, that we’re watching their every move. And some better commissioners have filled the seats of those who left.
From the beginning, the decision to defend the accused commissioners was controversial because they, not the agency they served, were sued as individuals. Faust, the former agency lawyer, questions the attorney general’s decision to defend the commissioners at all.
“It seemed to me they should have walked away from this in the first place,” Faust said. “If commissioners were violating the law, they were doing so not as commissioners, but outside the scope of the law.”
Cory Briggs, Spotlight’s attorney, said Thursday he never imagined anyone but the commissioners would be held accountable for fines and fees assessed against them as individuals. He sued them, not the state agency. Briggs argued from the beginning that the accused commissioners knew the rules and chose to ignore them.
In a head-slapping development last week, the lawyer arguing the case for Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra seemed to agree that the defendants were not public officials, but private citizens.
“Here, the Attorney General’s office was representing private individuals sued in their personal capacity,” the deputy attorney general wrote in a convoluted attempt to have Spotlight cover the state’s defense costs of $649,000.
Like I said in my Wednesday column, if they were private individuals, the attorney general shouldn’t have been defending them on our dime.
The state’s justification for asking defense costs to be paid by Spotlight was that this was a victory for the commissioners, not a loss, since most charges were dismissed and millions in potential fines were avoided. And the attorney general has already appealed, so we could get stuck with more bills.
This was no victory.
This was a dark chapter in Coastal Commission history and a rebuke of arrogant commissioners who didn’t take seriously their duty to protect the coast and the public.
The final insult was sticking us with the bill.
steve.lopez@latimes.com

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James “Jim” McGee Arrested for Domestic Violence, That’s all after a 17 hr. Standoff.

Update: Todays 9/12/2018 Court date has been continued for 2 weeks. Next Court date is 9/27/2018. Still NO charges filed by the District Attorney’s Office, not even the Domestic Violence charge he was arrested for.

August 9, 2018 at 2:00AM the Redwood City Police Department responded to a 911 call reporting Domestic Violence with injuries. When police arrived they found a woman in the front of the home located on Windsor Way. She was taken to the Hospital. The police, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Swat Team, a Helicopter and who knows how many first responders spent the next 17 plus hours communicating with one of their own to get him to comply with the orders to come outside. The entire neighborhood was effected by this military response to a former RWCPD Swat Team Officer refusing to comply with orders to come out. Some neighbors were forced to stay in place and some left their homes for safety.

If you think over 17 hours for one of their own seems like a long time you are correct, but that is nothing, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe and Chief Deputy DA Karen Guidotti have refused to file any charges as of Sept 10, 2018. You talk about favorable treatment, think about having over 30 days to communicate with the victim to have her really think about her future and what’s best for her and the alleged abuser. Financial considerations of course. This is where the Fixer shines, behind the scenes he communicates the reality to the victim, she will never win in court in SMC. It won’t be the first time a victim has heard that statement before.

San Mateo County has a Domestic Violence Protocol it includes an Emergency Protective Order, a 30 day Court appearance to convert the EPO to a Restraining Order. I asked the DA’s Office the status of the EPO & RO here is the response.

Karen Guidotti <kguidotti@smcgov.org>
To:Michael Stogner
Sep 10 at 11:42 AM

Mr. Stogner:  No charges have been filed yet.  Yes, his court appearance is still set for the 12th.  I won’t be commenting on the facts of the case until a filing decision is made.  You may feel free to reach out to me daily to see if/when charges are filed.

Karen

From: Michael Stogner [mailto:michaelgstogner@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2018 11:31 AM
To: Karen Guidotti <kguidotti@smcgov.org>
Subject: RE: James A. McGee Charges Update

Hello Karen,

Is his court date still set for the 12th.

Was there an EPO issued? and was it converted to a R.O.?

What are the charges?

Thank You

Michael G. Stogner

San Mateo County News.com

Note: Sept. 12. 2018 I went to the court house James McGee’s name was not on the docket at all. Usually all parties come to court on the official court date and than continue. That is not what happened in this case.

Chief Deputy Karen Guidotti should explain to the residents of San Mateo County this statement. “Yes, his court appearance is still set for the 12th.”   

The District Attorney’s Office and the Redwood City Police Department should be audited.

My reporting is facts based if anyone would like to comment please do.

By Michael G. Stogner

 

 




 

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San Mateo County Human Trafficking charges of 59 Counts.

Great article about San Mateo County News in the LATimes. Notice this was not investigated by San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Owners of day cares charged with trafficking

By Alejandra Reyes-Velarde

A family of four running several senior and child care centers in San Mateo County has been charged with human trafficking and other labor-related charges, California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Friday.

The defendants — Joshua Gamos, 42; Noel Gamos, 40; Gerlen Gamos, 38; and Carlina Gamos, 67 — are accused of holding employees of the Rainbow Bright day-care centers against their will, failing to pay them minimum wage and overtime pay, and abusing them verbally, physically and psychologically.

The alleged abuse took place between 2008 and 2017, according to the complaint.

The charges are the result of a yearlong investigation by the attorney general’s office’s Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement Task Force, which involved the collaboration of multiple agencies including the U.S. Department of Labor and law enforcement departments in Daly City, South San Francisco and Pacifica.

While serving the arrest warrants, officials seized 14 illegal assault weapons, three of which were “ghost gun” rifles without serial numbers, according to a statement released by Becerra’s office.

The Gamoses face 59 criminal counts, including human trafficking, rape and grand theft.

The four family members are suspected of targeting Filipinos who were living in the U.S. illegally or otherwise vulnerable by posting ads in a local Filipino newspaper. According to the complaint, employees at multiple Rainbow Bright facilities were promised food and a room to sleep in for their work as live-in caregivers for developmentally delayed adults. They were told they would work eight hours a day for five days a week and receive a monthly salary of $1,000 to $1,200.

But according to the complaint, employees were made to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no increase in pay, sometimes with only a few hours of sleep a night. At times, they were not allowed to communicate with one another.

If the employees didn’t behave properly in the eyes of the owners, according to the complaint, they would be punished, sometimes with a decrease in pay or threats that they would be deported.

The owners also withheld employees’ passports on the pretext that they would help employees with their immigration status, the complaint said. In some cases they kept the passports until the employees were fired or quit.

The complaint alleges that Joshua and Noel Gamos offered female employees gifts in exchange for sex acts. Joshua Gamos is also accused in the complaint of raping employees on multiple occasions.

“No worker in the United States should live in fear or be subjected to violence, abuse or exploitation at the hands of their employer,” Becerra said in a statement.

alejandra.reyesvelarde@latimes.com

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2 California Judges Removed for Misconduct. It’s about Time

California Residents should say Thank You to Good and Concerned Citizen Joe Sweeney.

This article is from the LA Times 8/8/2018

State censures and bans two judicial officers
Court commissioner is rebuked for social media rants; a judge, for misconduct.
By Joseph Serna
One man was cited for posting far-right memes on Facebook, railing against immigrants, gays and Muslims and saying that former President Obama was trying to convert the nation to Islam.
The other was admonished multiple times for improper conduct and for making “discourteous, demeaning and belittling comments” in various court cases.
Both were longtime judicial officers in Kern and Contra Costa counties.
Not anymore.
A state judicial watchdog agency recently censured both men on the condition that neither of them ever run for or hold a judicial post again. It’s unusual for a judge to be censured and even rarer to be banned from the bench for life — the commission’s online database shows only 18 such instances since 1998.
On Tuesday, the Commission on Judicial Performance announced that Contra Costa County Judge Bruce Clayton Mills had been cited for willful misconduct stemming from three incidents in 2016. The panel said Mills, who retired May 30 and had been disciplined multiple times over his 23-year career, was barred from ever holding office again “in order to protect the public and maintain confidence in the integrity and independence of the judicial system.”
In the most recent incidents, Mills communicated with a defense attorney about his client’s sentencing outside of the presence of prosecutors — which is improper — and then modified the defendant’s sentence based on the threat of litigation instead of the letter of the law, the commission said. In another instance, he improperly communicated with a prosecutor about his case before the court without the defense present, which is also prohibited.
The panel cited other improprieties:
In 2013, Mills was publicly admonished for improperly speaking with the judge overseeing his son’s traffic infraction case.
In 2006, he was publicly admonished for a series of improper communications in a criminal case, assuming the role of a prosecutor in a different case and engaging in a “pattern of making discourteous, demeaning and belittling comments in criminal cases,” the commission’s decision said.
In 2001, he was privately admonished for making remarks suggesting a lack of impartiality and for attempting to obtain a guilty plea from a defendant who wanted an attorney.
Given “the judge’s failure to appreciate the impropriety of his conduct, and his lack of candor as evidenced by his shifting explanations for his conduct, the commission concluded that there was a strong likelihood that Judge Mills will engage in subsequent misconduct if he were to serve in a judicial capacity in the future,” the commission concluded.
Jim Murphy, Mills’ attorney, said his client was “a good guy” and that he was “extremely disappointed” in the commission’s decision. He said Mills is now seeking a career outside the law.
In the case of retired Kern County Court Commissioner Joseph Gianquinto , who began serving on the bench in December 2007, the state commission said that his social media posts undermined the public’s confidence in the judiciary and brought the office into disrepute. Court commissioners are similar to a judges, though with less power, and handle mostly traffic tickets, family cases and arraignments.
The commission voted to censure Gianquinto on Aug. 22.
Commission documents outline dozens of Facebook posts Gianquinto published or shared in 2016 and 2017 that reflected “anti-Muslim sentiment, anti-immigration sentiment, anti-Native American sentiment, anti-gay marriage sentiment, a position on the controversial issue of shooting deaths by police officers, strong opposition to then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, contrasting praise for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, an accusation that President Obama was trying to transform the United States from a Judeo-Christian nation into Islam, a lack of respect for the federal justice system and contempt for the poor.”
The commission pointed to numerous statements and memes Gianquinto shared through Facebook, where he identified himself as “Jj Gianquinto,” a Kern County employee, with a photo of himself included.
He claimed Obama was trying to convert the nation to Islam and that he “lost respect for the federal justice system” after Clinton was not prosecuted by the FBI.
On Jan. 30, 2017, Gianquinto posted an item that read, “For the Indian Rez that will not permit the wall built on 75 miles of border on their land — how about building the wall around that rez, fencing them into Mexico? That should please them.”
He shared a photo of a group of Muslim men with the words, “They suck the western welfare system dry, outbreed to become a majority, lobby for their own laws and takeover.” He also shared a post that called liberals “America’s cancer” and another that advocated arresting immigrant rights protesters.
When the court’s presiding judge raised concerns about the posts, Gianquinto attempted to take them down but failed because of a lack of technical prowess, the commission said. Regardless, the damage had been done, the panel concluded.
“Mr. Gianquinto’s conduct on Facebook was egregious, and is the type of conduct that inherently undermines public confidence in the judiciary and that brings the judicial office into disrepute,” the commission said.
Gianquinto, who retired March 30, agreed to stay out of office in exchange for not being barred.
“He is looking forward to putting the matter behind him,” his attorney said.
joseph.serna@latimes.com
Twitter: @JosephSerna

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