My latest nominee for the AOC’s Crystal Gavel Award is one who might not even have come to notice if it weren’t for the fact that he stood up for what he believed was right. A person who currently works for the AOC and yet felt so strongly about coming forward to reveal a bureaucratic frack up on the AOC’s part that he did so knowing he would be facing the wrath of the AOC and its supporters. That person is one Michael Paul. And the frack up he revealed was the AOC’s complete incompetence in double checking that the vendors it contracted to maintain the courthouses in this state were properly licensed .
As of the writing of this post the AOC has now filed suit against Aleut Global Solutions LLC and Jacobs Facilities Inc. According to the Daily Journal in court filings the AOC claimed that both companies had breached a three-year-old contract that the companies had with the AOC. The Daily Journal referred to the complaint the AOC filed which stated that the AOC was seeking “disgorgement of ‘all compensation paid to them by the Judicial Council,’ a sum totaling more than $14.5 million over the life of the contract, an Administrative Office of the Courts spokesman said Thursday.” To make matters worse, it would appear that some within the AOC knew that the companies may not have been properly licensed and yet continued to issue work to the companies over a period of three years.
As I also said in my post about the Followers of Themis, whom I also nominated for the Crystal Gavel, none of what we now know about the incompetence on the part of the AOC to manage not only the affairs of the courts of this state but its own affairs would never have come to light if it weren’t for people like Michal Paul. Even with the knowledge that he may not be protected by current whistleblower laws Mr. Paul has nevertheless stepped forward to blow the whistle on this expensive bureaucratic frack up.
Two legislators are already stepping forward seeking to introduce legislation next year that will protect AOC employees like Mr. Paul. I sincerely hope that this legislation comes soon for the sake of other AOC employees who may be waiting in the wings to come forward with more information about the AOC’s mismanagement but are fearful of reprisal. A fear that Mr. Paul has obviously overcome.