Another Day, Another Anti-AOC Editorial

This time it’s the Pasadena-Star news throwing their two cents in on how the AOC’s appears to be mismanaging the way the judicial system in this state is run.

Last year the Legislature passed, and the governor approved, Senate Bill 1407. It created an income stream from new fees and fines to support courthouse construction and renovation.

The $5 billion revenue bonds for courthouse construction have yet to be sold, but the new fees and fines that started Jan. 1 of this year are accumulating at the rate of about $280 million a year.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that if we’re on the brink of closing our existing courts, the thought of spending $5 billion on new courts teeters on insanity. And about $73 million of that was earmarked for L.A. County. That money should immediately be put to use to renovate and save what we already have.

The problem is an unregulated body called the Administrative Office of the Courts controls the money and refuses to budge. In fact, it gave funding authorization this week for a new courthouse in Glendale. That logic escapes us.

Continue reading here.

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16 responses to “Another Day, Another Anti-AOC Editorial

  1. justinianscode

    If I remember my geography correctly, Pasadena and Glendale are right next to each other. A new courthouse built in one would benefit the other to a fairly great degree I expect. Yet the newspaper in Pasadena thinks it would be better to hold off building the new courthouse in order to keep existing courthouses open.

    Perhaps those most affected, like the local press which published this editorial and the people in the area, should be listened to. But there I go again, expecting the AOC leadership to welcome such input from the locals.

  2. So how many voices in and out of the courts does it take to explain that the AOC’s computer project is a bloated failure? Yes, it is needed. But can’t the adults come to the table and work on it? Mr. Power’s raises several good points. But as complicated as the AOC has made the project, Powers attempts to make it too simple. No project like this, high tech or not, should cost the taxpayer $2 Billion (or $1.75 Billion or $1.35 Billion or anything with “billion” on the check). The AOC are not the adults here. They have obfuscated, attacked their critics and back peddled. They have not done the right things: Have an outside audit,curb Deloitte’s excesses and put some serious, intelligent managers to work to save this project. Will they do it? No. Why? Because no one in Sacramento will do the right thing and fire the AOC off this project. How many more courts will be closed and how many employees fired and how many litigants turned off by the court system before this travesty is addressed?

  3. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Everyone should be annoying the state assembly as well as the state senate over these matters.

    I would say everyone should be contacting – – – but I know the innner workings of Sacramento.

    Contacting them isn’t good enough. Annoying each and every legislator into action is required.

    A letter writing campaign is required. Traveling to Sacramento on the third Wednesday of the month to meet with your representatives is required. A legislative response to rampant fraud, waste and abuse is required. Several more legislative hearings are required.

    With all that has transpired we all know that any court construction bond is dead on arrival. We also know that the AOC has demonstrated that it’s not a good steward of public funds (with one notable whistleblowing exception whom the AOC is attempting to document for termination exercising the same tired old plan they have used against others) and it has all but lost the public trust.

    How many of the 38 million people across this state must continue to observe the lawlessness of those in San Francisco while appearing in courts locally to be held accountable for the same laws that the AOC is breaking?

    Being an unlicensed contractor anywhere in the state of california is against the law – a criminal act. Yet those lawless contractors that work for the Judicial Branch get a free pass. Being a public official who gives work to unlicensed contractors is too – a criminal act. Yet those in the Judicial Branch who continue to steer this work to unlicensed contractors get a free pass.

    Court construction is supported by traffic fines – minor infractions of the law that results in court construction dollars being produced.

    Would it be wrong for those in the courts to simply issue “case dismissed” rubber stamps to every traffic clerk in the state and start the wholesale dismissal of every traffic citation in the system for the simple 10 dollar dismissal fee?

    The trial courts unwittingly support their own demise every time someone steps up to a traffic window and every time someone goes to traffic court.

    I respectfully submit that courts across the state should begin their own protest through the wholesale dismissal of all traffic infractions as to concentrate their scarce court resources on those who need our court system to work.

    It takes precious little manpower to hand out “case dismissed” stamps and clear those traffic lines.

    It is difficult to continue to watch felonious behavior from San Francisco and attempt to hold our citizens responsible to continue to pay for this felonious behavior.

    Send a strong message to Sacramento by annoying your representatives on an endless basis before the legislature reconveines.

    Send another strong message to San Francisco through the wholesale dismissal of all traffic infractions.

    They can’t build courthouses if you don’t send them the money to build them.

    • This is the ultimate value of any money sent to the AOC:

      Please, don’t send me to the AOC:

      • Let me try this again since, apparently, this blog structure doesn’t allow for the pics to be imbedded directly into the posts! (And I’d take no offense at all to my first post being deleted).

        This is the ultimate value of the money sent to the AOC:

        Please don’t send me to the AOC:

  4. Obi Wan is absolutely right need to lobby the Legislature. they cam make significant changes during the upcoming legislative and budget cycles. But they need your information. Talk to the leadership in both houses – democrats and republicans. talk to the budget chairs and vice chairs. Talk to the budget subcommittee 4 members in both houses. The budget staff is also very critical. Talk to the Judiciary Committee members. Important staff on those committees: Drew Liebert and Saskia Kim, Assembly and Senate respectively. You have the evidence necessary to bring about change. I applaud all of you who are willing to come forward and share what you know. The new year is just around the corner and with our collective efforts we can bring about a better, brighter year in the judiciary,

  5. Silence means consent will not work anymore. 2010 brings a new Governor and the Chief must stand for retention. All bets are off with the Legislature and the AOC knows this. Change is coming.

  6. Obi & WiseEmployee: I couldn’t agree more!

    Exposure and validation is not enough. We must continue to resist intimidation. The basis for opposing injustice lies in mobilization!

  7. I would recommend to my fellow AOC-W readers the Metropolitan News-Enterprise article from last Friday.

    For those of you without access you will be pleased to know that they did a fine review of our beloved AOC-W.

    What you might also be interested to know is that Ron-O the Clown (and what exactly has Ron-O done with Mr. Bill?) went on at some length about what was wrong with AOC-W and that Mr. Bill (wherever he is) and Ron-O will be happy to address any questions or problems and that the operations of the AOC are just as open and clear as can be.

    They’ll even take us to “lunch or whatever!”

    Gee, Ron-O, I guess we’ve been mislead by the AOC-W all along.

    Yes, Ron-O, you and Mr. Bill were so forthcoming with us about the savings from our voluntary furlough going to give raises to management. Then there was the long explanation you gave us about that wonderful soiree at the Academy of Sciences. Oh yes, Ron-O, it was so nice of you to announce agency wide all those promotions and welcoming the new employees during that hiring freeze.

    Even the legislature has taken notice of your fair and balanced reporting on the CCMS project.

    I’m so sorry Bill-O for ever doubting you, you have been so honest and forthcoming.

    My only question Bill-O, since you know so much about what is being discussed in AOC-W how could you make the statement: the AOC hierarchy [is] “not reading it, so it’s not serving that purpose in terms of engaging us in dialogue about it…”

    I have heard almost the exact wording about not reading the AOC-W from several members of upper management. Gee, Ron-O great job in making sure everyone is on the same page, they must be since they say exactly the same thing,

    Yes Ron-O, the AOC is indeed “an open book.”

    Careful though Ron-O, there could be a lump of coal in your stocking this year.

  8. Thank you Emile. Fascinating indeed.

    http://www.metnews.com/articles/2009/aoc121809.htm

    And they read it and love it as much as anyone else! If they are not reading it, then they are admitting they really do stick their head in the sand. This would be like somone in the White House saying, “We don’t bother with the Internet.”

    Sweet dreams, Ron O. Let’s do lunch.

  9. I will respond later to the article and Ron’s accusations later, but right now I am watching Mr. Smith goes to Washington. And I will reveal like most of you, we are not just a bunch of goofs and discruntled folks as some interviewed in the article suggest. Yes, some of our comments are in jest, tounge in cheek or out of frustration. But we are not ill informed. This blog is legitimate and very timely. Let Ron and the others at the AOC ignore at their own risk. And I KNOW they do read this in their snuggies.

  10. Lunch with Bill and Ron –

    Sounds like fun, but I hear that no matter what you want or need, they decide what you will eat and then make you pay for it. Even if you weren’t hungry. But don’t blame them. It’s Judicial Council policy.

  11. Part of me of course is thrilled that Ron is going rogue and talking to reporters without consulting the Office of Communications, however …

    I might suggest a stronger & more accountable message would be that the AOC Executive Team tell employees that it takes the blog seriously — and while they may not agree with everything on it, they do evaluate all of the concerns and problems presented (especially when there sems to be a rational consensus).

    Otherwise, isn’t the message, “we don’t care about your voice or your needs.”

    Common. sense. 101

    And I too do my best work in a Snuggie. Much like the SRO.

  12. They were unable/unwilling to give straight answers at the hearing in Sacramento yet they are proposing to do this now? Of course, I don’t believe them and suggest they are only pumping propaganda to the media.

    Even so, why don’t we go ahead and take them up on their offer and roll out the red carpet here on AOC-W so they can join the discussions and show us just how open and clear they really can be!?

    I’ll skip the “whatever” but since the AOC seems to enjoy spending money, why not allow them to treat several thousand or more taxpayers to a free lunch in Sacramento on January 20th?? I mean, really…it’s the least they could do considering all of the free lunches they have received with our tax dollars!

    Oh, wait a dog-gone moment! Let’s stop & read what they said very carefully….

    “happy to address any questions or problems…..”

    I suggest that their method of “happily addressing” such things would be something like this:

  13. Pardon me, but I couldn’t hold back a bah-humbug when I read Ebenezer Overholt’s “let’s do lunch” number in the AOCW. Let’s look at the facts of how the AOCs 3 known whistleblowers, Paula Negley, Jack Urquhardt, and Michael Paul, have been treated by Overholt and his fellow Scroogemasters. Tell me, does any of the following sound like an invitation to a friendly “let’s talk” lunch?

    1. Ignored, discounted, ridiculed, put under suspicion, and encouraged to take a hike for reporting blatant theft.
    2. Encouraged to retire for making JC members and execs see how bad it looks to party it up in presidential suites in the middle of hard times.
    3. Stripped of job duties, forced to work in difficult situations, and harassed for reminding Ebenezer and company that it’s illegal to do business with unlicensed vendors.

    Where was Overholt’s olive branch to these three? The truth is the AOC only wants to get rid of whistleblowers. Overholt and his embarrassed fifth floor cronies would rather see them marginalized, forced into emotional and financial stress, ruin and even (if inside friendly sources are right) home foreclosure than face up to the fact that the days of business as usual are over.

    Let’s hope this Christmas will be the last that Overholt and his fellow $ix-figure Crinches are able to steal. Meanwhile, have a merry one, Ebenezer Overholt. Will you be doing Hawaii again this year?

  14. Eunicelmn: Unfortunately for the AOC employees, your outline is right on the money.

    Here is yet another anti-AOC story, this time from POGO, the national organization based in Washington, DC. They make an interesting observation regarding previous government contract fraud involving Jacobs, who is located in their Federal Contractor Misconduct Database.

    http://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2009/12/california-courts-to-whistleblower-youre-out-of-order.html