Monday, May 18, 2009

Taxpayers irate over $347 million court tower

Good article by investigative reporter Josh Bernstein on the pricey court tower. Some excerpts -

County records obtained by ABC15 reveal the $347 million dollar courthouse will be lined with marble, travertine, decorative porcelain tile, and wood floors.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is already conducting a criminal investigation into the project, its price tag, the bidding process, and how it’s being funded.

"I'm quite concerned," said Maricopa County Treasurer Charles Hoskins.

Maricopa County has refused ABC15 access to thousands of public records.

ABC15 has learned that not all the money is going towards construction.

Back in February of 2007, 15 county officials traveled to Philadephia and New York to tour the courts.

The trip included sightseeing and expensive dinners along the way, but the county could not tell us who exactly paid the travel or the food.

Maricopa County's Presiding Judge, Barbara Mundell, who was part of the trip and played a major role in the court tower project, declined our repeated requests for comment.

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