Governor Needed to Stop the Crimes Against Its Citizens
Another Year, Another Billion Dollar Scam
New York's Court System presented Governor Cuomo with their latest "budget" on Friday, November 29, 2015. New York's Office of Court Administration ("OCA") refers to the $2 Billion dollar hot-air presentation as a "road to recovery" budget. The jumbled collection of vague numbers and words fills nearly 200 pages, and would surely be sufficient grounds to fire any accounting professional who would dare present such a "budget."
"There is a point which the Judiciary cannot be pushed if it is still to play its role in our constitutional system," said Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the 2.5 percent increase request.
OCA says they have $22 million less in the current fiscal year that it had in 2009-2010, and that their workforce was reduced by more than 1,900 employees over the last 5 years, to the lowest level in more than 10 years.
OCA- nor Governor Cuomo for that matter- have much to say about the $23 million spent on the Centennial Hall project for the 7 Court of Appeals judges so they would have a nice place to stay while in Albany. The renovation of OCA's 30,000-square-foot Romanesque Revival landmark hotel-for-judges, a former convent, has been another waste, funded by creatively hidden budget entries. Of course, the furnishings included cherry furniture costing over $350,000.) (CLICK HERE to see NY's Judge Hotel)
Mismangement At Its Worst
While Governors are required to pass the budget along to the State Legislature without making any changes, the state executive is not bound by any law to be silent on massive waste and corruption.
Has the governor ever considered a performance audit of OCA? Shouldn't a real group of management and financial experts analyze OCA? (Taking last years budget and moving some numbers up, and others down, is hardly a way to account for billions of dollars.)
Shouldn't the public know the details of OCA's vast real estate holdings?
Isn't the public entitled to see the leases of the $18 million paid out to landlords?
Doesn't the public deserve to know the particulars concerning OCA signing a 49-year-lease for a training facility for court officers?
Why are no supporting documents attached to the "budget" or readily available to the public?
Arranging for NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli to fully review OCA's version of financial accounting would surely find tens of millions of unaccounted for or wasted monies.
Gross mismanagement aside, OCA treats human beings like garbage. To be fair, however, New York's Court Administrative machine mistreats everyone equally:
Judges: here's a thankless group. Every judge is slapped with the reality that every decision he or she makes results in having made one temporary friend, and one permanent enemy. More outrageous is the fact that the court system was unable to give judges a raise for 13 years. And when they did get an insult of a raise, it was structured to be phased in over 3 years. The issue was so mishandled that it resulted in numerous judges filing lawsuits against NY State. (CLICK HERE TO READ, "New York Judges Disgraced Again- The Corrupt Court Machine Strikes Again)
Court Employees: OCA made believe they were saving big dollars by cutting overtime for employees dependent on the extra income, but court administrators forget to mention that millions of dollars were spent on renovating luxurious office suites for favored administrative court bigwigs. There are a lot of court employees who have much to say about their decrease in pay, denial of over-time pay, and generally how mismanaged the entire court system is run. (See, Shaw v. Unified Court System (SDNY #13-7691), a federal lawsuit filed in Manhattan)
In addition, countless federal lawsuits have been filed against OCA regarding rampant corruption and the wide-spread practice of retaliation against anyone and everyone. It's the way the court system is operated in New York State.
One such lawsuit is Corrado v. New York State Unified Court System, filed in the federal court in Brooklyn (EDNY # 12-1748) (See, www.JusticeInOurCourts.com) After this state-employed ethics attorney was sexually harassed, OCA went into hyper-retaliation mode against the victim! Governor Cuomo has personal knowledge of this atrocity, and the federal court filing.
Many years ago, a governor called Mario Cuomo was brave enough to support a Presiding Judge in Manhattan who was determined to confront the corruption within OCA's so-called attorney "ethics" department. The presiding judge, Francis T. Murphy, took NYC corruption on- full force- he was determined to clean house. Judge Murphy sent armed officers to the "ethics" offices to remove all employees and padlock the doors. CLICK HERE TO SEE, "The Murphy Report"
Maybe Mario Cuomo would consider running for New York Governor in 2014……
Coming Tomorrow: New York's Judicial Ethics Committee is Completely Corrupt!
Why has Andrew Cuomo let us down?ReplyDelete
The courts have their own auditors – which is an improper organization structure. Anyone auditing OCA and the court system should be completely independent. If they are government employees, then they should report to the NYS Comptroller, NOT to OCA! That's why we end up with these "budgets" – there is no independent review of how the NYS court system is being managed.ReplyDelete
First - Lippman is asking for $44million in "increases" failing to note how much was saved in previous years from technological and operational improvements. Those savings would still be in effect in the upcoming fiscal year, hence his increases are way more than $44million (assuming the savings in 2013 were $100 million, then OCA is increasing their costs in 2014 by $144million; $144M of increases, minus $100M of savings = a net $44M increase to the budget). So why wasn't the gross figure explained? Why is OCA only revealing the NET variance? I'd fire any accountant who presented this amateur budget - it's nothing but a laundry list of numbers.
Also, where are the details for the proposed projects along with the alternatives? Why is OCA spending $49M to lease a facility to train more security officers? Don't we have courthouses and court facilities that sit vacant on nights and weekends? OCA can't train the new staff onsite in these facilities? And hasn't OCA looked into using technology to host econferences? Why are the courts still insisting that people have to physically go into a courthouse for a simple hearing, deposition, or conference? Has no one in OCA ever heard of SKYPE? Or "go to meeting"? Or spoken to IBM about their econference hosting technology? Fewer people in the court house means fewer security personnel required. Does OCA actually think there will be NO technological advances in the next 49 years that could eliminate the need for a physical courthouse at all? Having a 49 year plan for anything these days makes absolutely no LOGICAL sense, never mind making no financial sense. This lease (and all the others) needs to be investigated.
And who receives these leases and contracts? OCA notes that they have more outside contractors doing court work but never lists them, shows where they are located (are they even in the U.S.), makes no mention of how sensitive court information is secured with these outsiders, and provides no compliance audits of their previous work to show if they indeed do the work for which they were hired. Plus, there are no conflict of interest reports provided - do the OCA auditors regularly review the contracts and leases for conflicts with court and government personnel? We'll never know because this basic auditing/financial information is NOT provided.
This nearly 200 page tome is what real accountants call a laundry list. It is utterly devoid of explanations, variance analyses, prior year reviews/audits, and supporting documentation (ironic, coming from the courts - who demand supporting documentation for any court arguments!). Without this information, this budget cannot be considered. The NYS Legislature and Governor Cuomo should kick it back and demand proper work. Or hire a bunch of auditors and M.B.A.’s who can do this work properly.
Mario had a spine, Andrew doesn't. Mario fought off corrupt insiders (including fellow democrats) who wanted him NOT to re-appointed Murphy as PJ. Andrew is afraid of Lippman and Silver, plain and simple. My guess is that an audit of the court system would reveal $50-100 million in COMPLETE WASTE. Yes, let DiNapoli dig his teeth into that court system snake pit!ReplyDelete
So that is where the money went! The State's claim that there is no money in the budget appeared false, when there is a high rate of taxes being paid throughout NY State.ReplyDelete
Judge Lippman's father was one of the most corrupt people in government or out. The NY State Supreme Court charges money for each motion in a civil action which is illegal, and for other court documents aside from the $210 index filing fee. With the abundance of new cases filed each year, the amount of filing fees alone should be fully accounted for. The NY City Civil Court also charges $50. filing fee. Why the 2 trillion budget? Some judges, corrupt or not, have not had a raise in many years. It appears this is another NY State scam! The public corruption should be complained of through the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) PUBLIC CORRUPTON UNIT IN NEW YORK CITY. IF THEY DO NOT FOLLOW UP WITH AN INVESTIGATION RESULTING IN NAMES OF THE CORRUPT OFFICIAL THE INSPECTOR GENERAL IN WASHINGTON, D.C. SHOULD BE NOTIFIED....
ADDITIONALLY..A NY STATE GRAND JURY SHOULD BE CONVENED TO INVESTIGATE THESE PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND THEIR CRIMINAL ACTS.
DiNapoli should dig in? How do you think his brother went from court officer to chief court officer, skipping every step in between? As for filling fees covering the budget,.....lol. take a look at how much is spent on free legal services for the "indigent."......the poor Saps who usually have top of the line phones, luxury car keys, and more expensive shoes than the judge owns. Free legal services pay off for the connected lawyers who get appointed. OCA is a legalized criminal organizationReplyDelete