Billions in the hole, lawmakers ignore mismanagement and available funds at the AOC

Posted on November 23, 2011

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By now everyone who reads this blog knows that we’re hypercritical of waste and mismanagement at the AOC. While our schools, community colleges, universities and our social safety nets are dismantled, billions are being spent on some of the worlds most expensive public buildings and software that has never been used and is nearing obsolescence.  Promises of the V4 software running in any court have yet to come to fruition and it isn’t due to a lack of money – it is due to a lack of a functional product capable of meeting the needs of any court today.

Everyone has been misled and lied to. Worse, we’ve given the judicial council both their own sword with control over this states’ attorneys who could fight to make this right on behalf of the public, we’ve given them the ample leeway of the purse to spend billions of dollars without a shred of oversight. We’re relying on judges, justices and court executive officers who are amateurs in the world of software development and construction to undertake very expensive decisions based on the flawed belief that the amateurs doing the software development and construction at the AOC have a clue as to what they’re proposing.

There remains billions on the table that lawmakers are ignoring, yet the solution is a simple one. Direct appropriations to this states’ trial courts, the AOC, court construction projects and software development programs will be the only way of correcting the misdirected priorities of a highly conflicted judicial council, most of whom are slated to get their own shiny brand new courthouse if they go along. And go along they did.

So their decision to push forward, while eliminating the two most egregious of construction projects costing 25 million dollars apiece and serving isolated communities of about two thousand people really was no surprise. They get to say that they did something about it after 5 years of having this stuff on their books as part of their plan and criticism from all corners of California. Then we have the 700 million dollar priorities list that they used to back fill this savings and pile on yet more debt that consists of estimates from exclusive, sole source providers that have been historically bilking the AOC at every possible opportunity and were previously unlicensed.

Yet only a small group of judges seems to be taking a stand while our legislature and governor witness our institutions including our trial courts being dismantled.

Not too long ago, we heard rumors in Sacramento that legislators might be inclined to sweep the AOC’s construction funds and we know they’ve already passed legislation that would permit them to drive a wooden stake through the heart of the revenue vampire we know as CCMS.

Going into the new year, students will be bounced out of colleges and universities because they never planned for successive, massive increases in their tuition. Those that graduate can look forward to not being able to land a job because they’ve dried up.  People who previously had home care for their ailments will instead be transferred to public hospitals at a substantial expense to the taxpayers. District Attorneys across the state have already stated that they’re going to be over-charging criminals to ensure they go to state prison instead of being re-aligned and having to serve time in our county jails because the counties cannot afford to house them. We’ve entered the slippery slope of incarceration privatization and monitoring where we’ll be able to jail people in their homes and charge them for monitoring their activities.  And we’ve tied court construction revenue to you being guilty of the driving offense you’ve been charged with. Both the sword and the purse on that one….

JCW calls upon the legislature and the governor to immediately intervene in this morass of mismanagement in the judicial branch by removing both the swords and the purses and leaving the branch to do what it does best – adjudicate cases before them.

Join us in writing a letter to Governor Brown and your legislators and urge them to regain checks and balances over the third branch by removing both the swords and the purses and re-appropriate money not to the judicial council, but to all judicial branch operations directly.

It’s time to start taking care of business.