California's court leaders spent $30 million over four years on "questionable" expenses and salaries, leaving less money for cash-strapped trial courts, a state audit said Wednesday.
The audit, ordered by the Legislature, called on the court's statewide leadership to more closely supervise the hundreds of employees that administer the court system. The Judicial Council, the policymaking arm of the courts, oversees what until this year was called the Administrative Office of the Courts, or the AOC.
"This report concludes that questionable fiscal and operational decisions by the Judicial Council and the AOC have limited funds available to the courts," State Auditor Elaine M. Howle wrote in a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers who requested the review.
Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who heads the Judicial Council and appoints most of its members, established a group Wednesday to study the audit and make recommendations to the council.
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