Sacramento CBS Affiliate to Air Investigative Piece On AOC

Those of you who live in the Sacramento area may want to have your television sets tuned in to KOVR 13, the CBS affiliate in that city, this Friday, January 8th, at 6:00 p.m.  Mike Luery, an investigative journalist for the channel, has been doing a story about the AOC.  I don’t have all the details yet but I’m sure we’ll be hearing from people who are both for and not-so-for the AOC.

If you’d like to learn more about Mr. Luery, whose investigative pieces fall under the On The Money banner, you can click here.

UPDATED 1-10-2010: Originally set to air this Friday, January 8th, at 6:00 p.m., I’ve been informed that the On The Money piece on the AOC will instead air Tuesday, January 12th, at 6:00 p.m. Expect to see promos on the piece airing this weekend.

23 responses to “Sacramento CBS Affiliate to Air Investigative Piece On AOC

  1. He looks friendly.

    OMG RMG. Investigative stories don’t happen when everything is fine.

  2. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    It would be important to YouTube that baby when it airs for all to see and as we understand, this my be the first of several major media hitpieces in the works.

    Before it was just legal newspapers, political writers in newspapers and union sites. Now all of California is beginning to smell a rat and it’s about time.

  3. Obi –
    For the sake of credibility, hope that is not a “hitpiece”

  4. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Watch and learn my fallability AOC.

    I made a mistake. In those thoughts flying through my head I had meant to say hard hitting piece and it took on an entirely different meaning when I typed hit piece.

    My apologies to the media.

  5. PattyJaneSmith

    Hopefully, the CBS piece will accurately and truthfully expose what has been happening at the AOC. Some will certainly see it has a hit piece because the truth hurts! I look forward to watching the Sacramento news and hope CBS affiliates in LA and other major media markets pick it up too.

  6. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    It’s local TV news. They’ll have about 7 minutes for their story segment before moving on to the next. The good money is on CCMS.

  7. I hope it’s on CCMS because that is newsworthy, even worthy of a 60 Minutes piece (“the most expensive computer project in California history, designed by and for the judicial branch, has been mismanaged, is of undeterminant cost, and is still unfinished. And it’s all happening when the Chief Justice of California is up for retention and the state will elect a new Governor … tick tick tick …”). If I can write that hook without even trying, Mr. Leury should call Mr. Cooper.

  8. This is where I don’t understand why the Chief seems to be asleep. CCMS or any government waste project becomes a major election year issue. He may want to keep politics out of judicial elections, but politicians or special interest groups don’t care about that. Editorials can be mobilized in large counties before his election saying that he is responsible for CCMS and/or AOC mismanagement and he should be voted down. They don’t even have to bring up a single legal decision that he has participated in. Is anyone advising the Chief of the ramifications of denial?

  9. Special Prosecutor

    How is he going to fit everything into seven minutes?

    AOC playing games with Legislature

    Use of unlicensed contractors

    Court employees and judges angry about AOC practices and lack of oversight

    Lack of employee whisteblower protection


    Judicial Council did not approve its own governance policies (any update there, Judge Horan?)

    Courts going bankrupt while raises are handed out to “AOC leaders”

    AOC employees have no faith in management

    Chief Justice is silent or dismissive of criticism

    Computer system over one billion in cost estimates but no plan or money exists to finish it

    Human Resources department is causing litigation

    Appellate justices turning against AOC

    I am horrified.

    • My suggestion? They need a full “60 Minutes”….or perhaps even longer for a full “20/20” perspective of the “Frontline” investigation….

      It could happen!

  10. Paper Pusher

    Update – the story is going to run on January 12, 2010, at 6:00 p.m. Don’t give up.

    • Paper Pusher

      Duh, stupid me I didn’t see the previously posted update. Oh well, more info is better than no info??????? Feel free to delete!

  11. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    I was rather impressed by AOCW’s 1-10-2010 update to this story….. 😉

    So technically you told us first Paper Pusher 😉

  12. Paper Pusher

    The promo I saw is focusing on the raises. It sure would be a heck of a story if the main 4 issues (CCMS, raises, court closures & the unlicensed contractors) were covered in one fell swoop. It isn’t quite as jaw dropping piecemealed out.

  13. Give it some time. The issues are in sharper relief to people who are within the system. People don’t realize how much money the AOC has spent, given away, lost or wasted.

  14. Worry not Paper Pusher. Unjustified raises; CCMS,which is a program without any open and competative bidding and with no idea of what it was designed to do, or how much it would cost and when it would be accomplished ; court closures, unlicensed contractors; firing of AOC employees who do their duty; failure to respond to the Legislature; failure of the Judicial Council to supervise the AOC; AOC attempts to take away local control of the courts through a trailer bill; AOC expensive expenditures on silly conferences; and, to top it off a Chief Justice who appears not to believe in democracy in the Judicial Council and who seems to distrust the will of the People through their ability to exercise direct democracy and you have a witches brew.

    2010 is going to be a disaster for the Judicial Branch as we are no longer believed just because we are the Judicial Branch. Before all of these problems,amongst others, we have never been anything but completely candid with the Legislature, the Governor and the Public. We were trusted and now we are not trusted. It is a sad day for all of us who have worked in the courts for most of our lives. The responsibility for this disaster is on the shoulders of the Chief Justice, then the complicit Judicial Council, and then the upper leadership of the AOC.

  15. Special Prosecutor

    Well said Omerta.

    PS, I remembered Kelso also went to bat for CCMS in 2004, when the LAO clobbered the Judicial Council. I also don’t care if the man gets a free lunch and a daiquiri, but he is still a public servant paid by taxpayers. Anyone who is close to CCMS knows that it was not until very recently that anyone even started to get a handle on what they were doing. It has always been a local view of a statewide problem. No one thought to uniform forms and calendaring in 58 counties before designing a computer system from scratch that would work in all 58 counties. They still can’t promise it will work in all 58 counties, or be completed, so, yes, it is a failure.

  16. Special Prosecutor: Oh yes, someone did think of establishing best practices before embarking on developing CCMS…..the CEOs. But no one listened. Oh sure, a lot of the lickspittle CEOs that wanted to be on the J council or whatever did not speak up but lots of other CEOs did. They (Sheila and company) gave lip service to the CEOs but then of course, ignored the advice. That is also true for developing a business plan for CCMS. AND the only reason in my opinion that they finally got a “handle” on what they were doing is because a few brave CEO’s forced their way in to be ALLOWED to participate in the development of CCMS, once they got the word how badly CCMS was doing. This whole thing has been disgusting and dispicable.

  17. Claire Voyant

    From a computer software standpoint, it is not more complicated than DMV needs (data entry, calendaring, consistent practice from county to county, one source for stored information). But they had a plan and oversight.

  18. Here is what is on the channel’s website. No video link yet. Love Ron O’s comment on the performance of CCMS!

    On The Money: Court Controversy Reporting
    Mike Luery SACRAMENTO (CBS13) ― Click to enlarge1 of 1
    Superior Court of California


    numSlides of totalImages California is so deep in debt that courthouses are closed one day a month. Many judges have taken voluntary pay cuts, but not everyone apparently, is feeling the pain.

    Turns out, dozens of people in the court system received raises over the last two years.

    In court, a growing number of judges are in open revolt.” To pass out raises like this in this climate, I think is just outrageous,” Sacramento Superior Court Judge Loren McMaster told CBS13 in an exclusive interview.

    McMaster is critical of the Administrative Office of the Courts – the AOC – which gave out pay raises of 3% and higher to roughly 80 staffers, many of them already making six figure salaries.

    Payroll costs jumped 6% – the AOC says that’s due to increased workload – all this at a time when Californians are being shut out of the courts on the third Wednesday of every month. To save money, most judges around the state took a voluntary 5% pay cut. But critics on the bench say they are not seeing the same level of sacrifice from the Administrative Office of the Courts.

    In an exclusive interview with CBS 13, Sacramento County Presiding Judge Steve White said, “I think the judges are saying let us see why salaries are being raised in some places while we’re shutting down programs and closing courts a day a month.”

    But Ronald Overholt of the AOC, defends the pay raises.

    “The pay adjustments are AOC have been far less than any other level of government,” said Overholt, the Chief Deputy Director of California Courts. He then added, “The eighty or so employees that received increases were called step increases.”

    In other words, they received merit pay hikes approved by California’s Chief Justice and the 28 member Judicial Council that sets policy for the courts.

    Judge Loren McMaster had this response to the AOC,”I don’t know how you can call it anything but being totally out of touch or being incredibly arrogant. It’s one of the two.”

    The anger over the pay raises is just the beginning. Some judges are also disgusted with the computer system, designed to run California’s courts. They say the Court Case Management System (CCMS) is overdue, over budget and incredibly slow.

    “It’s still not satisfactory to the judges on my bench,” Sacramento Presiding Court Judge Steve White told CBS 13. “It’s not working up to our needs.”

    “It works beautifully,” said AOC’s Ronald Overholt, before adding, “And I know there have been issues in the Sacramento Court.”

    Overholt says the court computer system is popular with judges in other counties. But the price tag is now more than $1.2 billion for California taxpayers and climbing. “Could it get more expensive?” the AOC’s Ronald Overholt wondered out loud. “It could, if it gets delayed years and years and years.”

    But that brought this response from Sacramento Superior Court Judge Loren McMaster,” It really boggles the mind that we’d spend $1 million dollars per judge for a computer system.”

    Some judges told CBS 13 the computer system is running well in Southern California and also in San Joaquin County. However the contract for the system has been amended ninety-six times and the final price tag – now approaching $2 billion, is still up in the air. Even the Administrative Office of the Courts doesn’t know what the final tally will be, according to testimony at the Capitol from hearings last October. The new completion date for the Court Case Management System is now projected to be 2014, Ronald Overholt told CBS 13.
    Potential Recommendations For Administrative Office of the Courts
    Administrative Office of the Courts Court Case Management System Potential Recommendations For Administrative Office Of The Courts

    If you have a story idea about government spending, contact us via e-mail at ONTHEMONEY@KOVR.COM.

    You can also follow On The Money stories in progress via Twitter at

    (© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

  19. PattyJaneSmith

    The channel 13 piece was not good for the AOC and poor Ron Overholt was visibly sweaty. Not a good image for an entity defending raises and billion computer systems. Just looked like out of touch bloated bureacrats defending government waste, fraud and abuse. Stick a fork in them they’re done.

  20. I can’t wait to see the video.

  21. I don’t think they realize that when you are just a few people who are outnumbered in an entire branch, you are *really* outnumbered. I also don’t think they realize that any person with integrity would try and help when smart people have been in trouble. If I was a doctor and two non-doctors and only one doctor were ruining my entire industry’s practice, I would do the same thing.