State Assembly Approves Court Funding Bill

Local Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher Highly Critical Of Administrative Office Of Courts

Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, railed against California's court bureaucracy Monday as the state Assembly approved a bill that would give control of the state court's $3 billion budget to the Legislature.

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Fletcher said the Administrative Office of the Courts, the court's governing body, overspent on routine court maintenance, building courthouses and the court's computer upgrade project (Watch Video). He said they can't be trusted with public money.

The 10News I-Team has repeatedly detailed how AOC leadership spent hundreds of dollars to hang a clock, replace a light bulb or set a mousetrap in San Diego courthouses.

The I-Team also revealed AOC leaders spent thousands of dollars on liquor and dinners during business trips.

In San Diego County, some court clerks told the I-Team how the court's computer upgrade project didn't work, making their jobs harder and slower. The cost of that statewide computer upgrade went from $260 million in 2004 to an estimated $1.9 billion in 2010.

The state auditor cited numerous problems with the contracts and bidding process.

Fletcher called the AOC, which oversees court business including maintenance, construction and the computer project, "a failed institution that is failing the trial courts that it is entrusted to protect."

Fletcher said court administrators spent $5,000 to paint a closet, $21,000 to replace lights in a parking lot in Los Angeles and $210,000 to repave a parking lot the agency leases month-to-month.

Click here to read the AOC's response to Monday's meeting.

On Wednesday, Fletcher's office issued a document that provides sources of reference for his statements made on the Assembly floor. Click here to view the document.

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