Judicial branch spending causes internal debate
Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2012 02:04
“I still have mine and I think you still have yours,” McCarthy said.
“Yes, but it’s very outdated,” Then said.
“The binder isn’t, we can still reuse the binder itself. We just need the stuff shoved in there,” McCarthy said.
“Well, we have a good budget, so let’s make it rain,” Then said.
Then said that while he thinks it’s important to spend responsibly, he and McCarthy sometimes differ on how to effectively use the judicial branch’s budget.
“Out of all the justices, he’s been the most frugal with money, so much so that if we can’t get something for free, he won’t do it — which, unfortunately in this world, there’s very little that comes for free,” he said. “Of course, I’m not looking to spend money just to spend money just because we have it. I’m looking out for the rest of the court.”
McCarthy was impeached in July as senior justice from the Supreme Court on charges of not following Sunshine State Law and taking verbatim meeting minutes. A vote of confidence was taken to demote him from senior justice. McCarthy was not given a trial, but charges were dismissed last week.
At another meeting, McCarthy and Associate Justice Bryan Buenaventura voted against a proposal to purchase leather-embossed padfolios for all Supreme Court justices — including outgoing members.
“From what I’ve seen, it’d be better if we spend more conservatively,” Buenoventura said in an interview with The Oracle. “I feel pretty confident with the new leadership that’s about to start, and I’m pretty sure we’ll try to spend a little bit more conservatively than we did the year before. It’s the students’ money. The less we spend, the better.”
But Then said the purchases were not for the personal gain of employees, but for the increase in professionalism.
“We were looking at padfolios because we haven’t bought any office supplies in the past two years, so needless to say, it’s time to start looking at new pens and paper,” he said. “And one of the things was the padfolios because with the court’s expanding role, I would like a certain amount of professionalism within the branch,” he said.
Then said the additional purchases made by the branch this year were justified for the judicial branch to best serve students.
“We realize that this is not just our money, and this is the students’ money, which is why we have certain things set into place, such as our SG employee policy created to make sure students’ money is being used the right way,” he said.