Key Legislator to AOC: “What the hell did you do with that money?”

Judicial Council Watcher

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Yesterday, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and Assembly Budget Subcommittee #5 on Public Safety held hearings on the recent audit of the Judicial Council and the AOC.  State Auditor Elaine Howle did not pull any punches.  She painted an ugly picture of an agency that has lost its way, one that has strayed from its primary mission and sucks money away from local courts.  Ms. Howle recited the now-familiar litany of AOC excesses and missteps: the millions that the AOC’s top staffers receive in excessive pay, generous benefits, and unearned geographic salary differentials; the maintenance of a largely unnecessary fleet of 66 cars; the unauthorized hiring of temps to get around hiring freezes.  She pinpointed $186 million in AOC spending on consultants, contractors, and temps that she was “not convinced” benefited local courts.  She decried the general lack of oversight, noting the failure of the Council’s Accountability and Efficiency Committee…

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