Score one for the free press! Amy Yarbrough of the Daily Journal reports today that although the AOC claims that they have instituted a hiring freeze, records obtained from the state controller’s office shows that they hired three new employees in August. These hirings occurred after the AOC enacted a hiring freeze in May.
A quick look at the AOC website should say it all. Pay extra attention to the bolded language, which by the way is bolded by the AOC on their own website.
The immortal words of Queen Victoria, “We are not amused,” barely expresses how AOC critics are taking this piece of news. Here are a couple quotes from three judges quoted in the article.
“It is indefensible to continue to grow the court bureaucracy in San Francisco while local courts are required to furlough or lay off employees and at thte same time citizens are being denied acces to their county courthouses.” Judge Maryanne Gilliard
“Disappointing…very difficult to comprehend.” Judge Dan Goldstein
“I know that we here in Los Angeles and courts really everywhere are contracting. It’s hard to believe that any part of the branch would be expanding at this time.” Judge Michael Paul Vicencia.
Naturally the AOC is all over the map on this one with William Vickrey claiming that the hiring freeze was only in place until the budget was passed by the legislature. Then he claimed that the hiring process occurred before the hiring freeze was set into place. Meanwhile another spokesperson for the AOC said the hiring freeze was in place and that there would be no new hires.
Now here’s the thing. The AOC says they started a “hard freeze” in May of 2009. Before that they had a “soft freeze” in February of 2008. But according to the article, hiring continued despite the “hard” and “soft” hiring freezes.
The AOC continued to hire, though, and new employees joined the agency throughout the year, including in June and one on July 1, according to data provided to the Daily Journal by the state Controller’s Office.
Incredible. This is just another example of how the AOC continues to put out two faces. One face is the responsible agency doing its diligent duty to enact a hiring freeze in the middle of dire budgetary cuts. Meanwhile the other face goes on hiring.
Now the AOC can claim that they only hired three positions and that the positions were needed. That is not the point. The point is you’re telling the public one thing and behind the scenes you’re doing exactly the opposite. While the AOC stubbornly clings to funds to feed its CCMS computer program, which one can argue has led to courts furloughing and laying off court staff, it continues to expand its own staff. Apparently the AOC believes that hiring freezes are good for everyone else except themselves. But then again, why should we be surprised?