In the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression, in the middle of plummeting home values, lost jobs, and court closures and court furloughs, the AOC came up with the bright idea of hosting this year’s Bernard E. Witkin Judicial College at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose. And in case the word “mansion” hasn’t caught your eye, how about this? The two week training for new judicial officers will wind up costing $337,000. At least that seems to be the case according to an article by Amy Yarbrough printed in the legal paper The Daily Journal.
Roughly 130 judges and subordinate judicial officers have been attending new judges’ college for the past week at the Dolce Hayes Mansion, a resort and spa that boasts “emerald green lawns, stunning décor and unparalleled guest service” on its Web site.
The AOC is paying $100-a-night per room and has booked next years lodging at $110, Vickrey said. “I realize the word mansion raises a certain image in one’s mind,” Vickrey said. “But $100 a night isn’t exorbitant.”
Oh, golly gee. The public might see that judges are staying at a hotel with the word mansion in it’s name and flip out? Oh, really Mr. Vickrey? How perceptive of you. In case you don’t know, Mr. William Vickrey is administrative director of the courts.
But another AOC staffer said the rate this year is $110, plus tax. In addition, she said the agency is putting up 44 “faculty and seminar leaders” at the hotel.
Oh, dear. Mr. Vickrey, it would appear even YOU don’t know how much exactly you’re shelling out a night in hotel room cost. But then again, as far as most court employees are concerned, you can’t count on the AOC to tell you how many dollars it’s spending. Only that it has spent it.
Now, look. Nobody is denying the fact that new judicial officers need training. (Some would even argue current bench officers need retraining, but that’s a story for another day) But did the AOC really think that it was wise to host this year’s Bernard E. Witkin Judicial College at the Dolce Hayes Mansion in San Jose? The public is already screaming bloody murder at any government spending it perceives to be wasteful. And this will only add to the general public’s negative perception of government employees.