Questions about Overholt’s leadership and council spending

Posted on December 23, 2011

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Not too far back we covered a series of stories produced by 10 News San Diego and KCRA in a piece labeled “AOC’s pravda feebly attempts to regroup” .

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After running that story we received a series of messages. A series of messages described that while there is a meal allowance for judicial branch employees of just 18.00 per dinner, there is special considerations given to AOC’s leadership and those sitting on the Judicial Council that submit expenses.

One of those special considerations is a mostly quiet policy that permits meals of up to $60.00 per person to be reimbursed for senior AOC executives and council members.

Another special consideration is lodging while attending council meetings or functions of any type in the city by the bay with allegations that suites that are well beyond the allowance are the norm. We were advised to pull the records and check out the digs that council members stay at when they’re in town.

We received a few more messages about Tonto’s stay in San Francisco, just a few blocks away from the AOC at taxpayer expense. Now the general rule is how far away from your office that you have to travel that might entitle you to a stay in any given locale, not how far you live away from your primary office.

The correction put forth by the office of communications sought to provide cover for Mr. Overholt by indicating that he was more than 25 miles away from his home, working late on  AOC business and that he needed a hotel in the city, a few blocks from the AOC’s office so that he could be at work bright-eyed and bushy tailed in the morning and that the AOC additionally paid more than 50 bucks for Mr. Overholt to park his car in the parking garage while on his stay when he has a reserved parking place in the basement of 455 golden gate.

Parking is supposed to be an included element in the all-inclusive hotel rate, yet another exception is granted Tonto, who earns over two hundred grand per year to park his car 8 blocks from where he was working, for over 50.00 per night.

Cab fare to and from the office would have been less than 20 bucks including tips.

But the real reason for in- town the stay is being alleged as something else that has nothing to do with work. It is being rumored in JCW’s private message window that it has a great deal to do with sobriety.

We can’t verify this but we don’t believe it to be a coincidence when we hear it more than once from different anonymous sources, yet we can’t go out and declare that this was the case because we can’t prove it. However, no barrier exists to someone coming on JCW to clarify what was going down that evening that caused Mr. Overholt to stay eight blocks from the AOC.

We certainly believe he should be writing the state a check regardless because no other employee working in San Francisco on a regular basis would be permitted to a paid hotel stay eight blocks from the office and over 50.00 in parking. Especially when they are alleged to have a free reserved spot in the building parking garage.

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Ron Overholt has been the Interim Executive Director of the AOC for about three months.

Our concern is that interim or temporary appointments at the AOC have always become permanent and that a nationwide search for a new executive director will have one of two results. Either there will be some bullshit declaration that there is no one better suited to the job than Mr. Overholt (when in fact there are probably a couple million better suited in this state alone) or that some crony appointment will be made from the stalwarts on the council. Wouldn’t Justice Huffman just make the perfect executive director of the AOC?

And lord knows that the executive director of the AOC and his Chief Deputy are paid better than the Guv himself or any judge or justice in the state.

It’s time for some new blood: Someone that will take a critical look at an agency under fire and not simply re-arrange the deck chairs but to clean house. And most of that housecleaning needs to start at the top, where 93% of our long term survey respondents indicate that the entire board of directors at the AOC needs to be replaced, including Mr. Overholt.

…maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.