The Chief Justices Hypocrisy Exposed

Posted on May 15, 2014


Nearly 22 million dollars – or enough money to employ 220 court clerks. To reopen more than a dozen rural courthouses across the state.


This is how much money Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye demands that taxpayers pay on her behalf to have the California Highway Patrol drive her (and other presiding justices and justice council members) to and from work. But that’s not all. They also escort her on trips to Hawaii. On trips to Puerto Rico. On trips anywhere she wants to go. The chief suggests that she is attending to speak at meetings of various legal associations and that somehow, this is official business that taxpayers must pay for.

Yet many of those same associations will pay for and fly in other official speakers at their own expense. Why can’t Cantil-Sakauye, at the very least demand reimbursement from these same legal associations for her expenses that she bills to the California taxpayers?

We continue to believe that the enormous amount of money paid does not match the threat, especially when one considers the almost daily death threats made against 1,600 trial court judges and tens of thousands of court workers who actually deal with a very angry public on a daily basis.

Somehow, they manage to get by without armed chauffeurs.

All an appellate or supreme court justice has to deal with is appellate attorneys and never has angry litigants stand in their courtrooms. Sure, one on the council might argue that this level of protection is required due to threats made against justices for highly controversial decisions but the CHP already investigates all threats against state employees.

Except those employed by the trial courts. For that the responsibility falls to local law enforcement.

Does she provide these same services gratis to former chief justice and multi-millionaire Ronald George? While we have no proof of this submitted to us, the word on the street is that not only does Ronald George enjoy this perk but so does his wife.

Even if we were to buy the theory that these meetings have something to do with official business, why do hotel rooms for both the chief justice and her CHP entourage come in at three to four times the per diem cost she imposes on thousands of other judicial council employees?

The problem as we see it is the special benefits bestowed upon the chief justice by California Vehicle Code 2400 which states

(i) Upon request of the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, the commissioner may provide appropriate protective services to any current or former member of the State Court of Appeal or the California Supreme Court.

If you have spent any time around California law you quickly learn that the word “may” in this state has the actual definition of “shall”. CHP commissioner Joseph Farrow does have the right to invoice the judicial council for reimbursement of the council’s outlandish expenses and routinely does, which is the only way we can find out about these outlandish costs because we know that the AOC would never release any such record to the media and they’re protected by one of those worthless rules of court from doing so.

Enough money in fact to employ 220 court clerks across the state. To reopen more than a dozen rural courthouses in far-flung places like Needles, California.

What we find terribly amusing about all of this is the grey goose double standard that “the old state court system” and the new state court system (which includes the trial courts) lives under. Trial courts can order grey goose but it’s often substituted with mad dog 20/20 whereas anyone in the old state court system can order grey goose and get a whole case when they just ordered a drink.

At least this time around, legislators are now well educated that TOSCS and the AOC act as one and that the trial courts continue to be the regrettable bastard stepchild that no one wishes to support.

We haven’t been posting much but that does not mean we’re not working on other stories. In fact, we have a shocking story about waste and abuse and special perks where public information requests are currently being stalled by the AOC because when legislators find out about it, they will unquestionably body-slam the judicial council’s budget.

We owe credit for these upcoming stories to conscientious AOC employees who continue to be blown away about the waste in their own agency and feel genuinely concerned about the justice system being dismantled to pay for this waste.

They come to us because they know judicial branch whistleblower protection for AOC employees is entirely worthless.

Stay tuned.