To: The California State House and The California State Senate
Audit the California Judicial Council's facilities maintenance and construction program
We believe that the California Judicial Council's 5 billion dollar facilities maintenance and construction programs are fraught with fraud, such as kickbacks and bid rigging and that Californians who get traffic infractions are being forced to pick up the tab with outlandish fees and fines.
We're concerned because this branch of government is self-policing with neither police, laws, meaningful accountability or oversight. We request that the Joint Legislative Audit Committee of the State Legislature direct the State Auditor to immediately audit these programs and confirm what whistleblowers have already pointed out and lost their jobs over.
Why is this important?
Today, Californians are paying 62 million dollars a year for 35 years to rent one courthouse in Long Beach California that appears that it was the product of bid rigging.
For several years, Californians were paying unlicensed contractors obscene amounts of money to remodel, renovate and maintain every courthouse in the state until whistleblowers, unprotected by state law blew the whistle and lost their jobs.
Over 2,500 court workers have lost their jobs, over 200 courtrooms have been closed and over 50 courthouses have been shut down, including brand new courthouses that were recently built for millions of dollars under this program. The lines at most courthouses now wrap around the block and some citizens must travel over 180 miles to get to their nearest courthouse.
California is the only state in America where the judicial branch performs an executive branch function of developing and managing state real estate without a hint of oversight or accountability and this must end immediately. But it must start with an audit authorized by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee of the State Legislature.
Time is short - all requests for audits must be received by the joint legislative audit committee no later than August 4th 2015.