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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lippman's $23 Million Boondoggle Testament to Waste While Layoffs Continue

Court Puts Hold on Albany Judges Quarters
The New York Law Journal by Joel Stashenko  -  April 21, 2011

ALBANY, NY - The state court system is putting off completion of Albany living quarters for the judges of the Court of Appeals. The Centennial Hall project was designed so that the judges would have a place to stay other than a hotel as they tend to their duties at the capital (NYLJ, May 12, 2009).  Centennial Hall in Albany is covered in scaffolding in May 2009. At right is the Court of Appeals. The building, a former convent, is a 30,000-square-foot Romanesque Revival landmark across the street and down the block from Court of Appeals Hall. Starting on Monday, the Law Reporting Bureau will begin to occupy four floors of the building and an adjoining structure. The bureau publishes online a range of state court decisions. But the living quarters for the seven Court of Appeals judges will not go forward for now, said the Court's spokesman, Gary Spencer. Mr. Spencer said that a "project that once seemed reasonable looks less so now" in the midst of layoffs and other budget cuts. He said it has not been decided if the Judiciary will forge ahead with completion of the project, but that, at any rate, it would not happen in the current fiscal year. In the 2011-12 fiscal year, the Legislature and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo have demanded $170 million in cuts from the Judiciary, Those, in turn, have led to layoffs and other cost-saving measures. Most of the $23 million allocated for the Centennial Hall project has been spent, Mr. Spencer said. Any remaining funds will be held for the future completion of the judges' quarters, he added. The property is owned by Albany County, though the state is financing the renovation work. The creation of a state courts museum on the first floor of the structure also has been put on hold. The project was announced in the mid-2000s by then-Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye. It has since drawn criticism from the New York Post and other news organizations because of its alleged extravagance in an era of fiscal belt-tightening. Court officials have countered that the judges would be safer if they had a secure place to stay in Albany rather that lodging in local hotels. Also, the state contends that it will ultimately save money if it does not have to reimburse the judges for hotel bills or pay the $241,000-a-year tab the Law Reporting Bureau has been charged for its offices.  Joel Stashenko can be contacted at


hail to the king said...

You see how the rats scramble when you shine a bright light on them. Watch carefully, though, the OCA rats will sneak around to finish Lippman's $23 million dollar monument to himself.

Anonymous said...

All the money that has been wasted on promoting themselves, should have gone into making the administration of the courts more efficient.

The job of running the courts is to make it efficient and accessible. If they spent less time on pampering and promoting themselves, and more on doing what they are required to do, the money they receive would be more than enough.

Why isn't there an audit on this new luxury hotel to see if it actually was cost effective? I'll be that if the cost of maintaining and running this hotel is calculated, the daily rate is going to be more than if these judges were being put up at the Waldorf. This thing has to be maintained 365 day of the year, not just the few days these jokers are in town.

Anonymous said...

Gov. Cuomo MUST STOP layoffs immediately! Layoffs are not a solution but a greater problem for NY State.

Anonymous said...

STOP Jonathan Lippman from hurting innocent people. PEOPLE UNITE as there is strength in numbers!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Judge John K. McGuirk from the Orange County Supreme in Goshen New York is going to increase his fees to fix divorce cases and child custody cases? I wonder if the fees to sell children for child porn and prostitution is going to be higher?

JUDGE JOHN K. McGUIRK is a pig and deserves to burn in hell for eternity for every child that has been raped and sodomized after he sold them in child custody cases, together with his favorite whore law guardian.

Anonymous said...

to 4:14;

Let me guess? You work for the OCA.

Gov. Cuomo is not laying off anyone. Cuomo is the Governor, the Chief Executive of the State. His responsibility is to keep the government solvent.

Your pink slip is coming from Lippman. Lippman is responsible for the Court System in the State.

Clearly you read this blog, and should really try to understand what is being posted here. The posts are by people who want the judiciary to do what they are supposed to do and do it honestly. However, because of the corruption and case fixing, the administration is bloated by cronies and crooks.

If the administration of the Courts did their job honestly, the courts wouldn't be the expensive mess it is now.

If you want to blame someone, blame the right people not the messenger.

Anonymous said...

fm NYP

Two Cents Worth
8:26:14 AM
Apr 22, 2011

There are numerous state agencies that own apartments in Albany and NYC, why not rent those and save the taxpayers money? In addition at $37,500 a year it would take over 600 years to justify the $23,000,000 price tag of these luxury apartments. Like always public employees expecting the taxpayers to pay beyond what is needed to do ones job. It would be nice to find out what other perks these judges are getting that they see luxury apartments as a right.

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Just an FMI...what are the titles that have received the pink slips.. and how many are exempts?
It is important for those employees being canned to inform the unenlightened public of NY and America how the middle class, union paying ,title tested workers have become so the multiple political hack supervisors who sit all day in private offices away from public access,e-mail constantly all those dirty pass-a-longs(which I have collected many of) and visiting with every lawyer who has a case in their court that day, and roar obscene comments when they have to think about functioning as a civil servant...and still can make 6 figure plus salaries... you can look that up.
They are not only title exempt for life , but never ever fired from OCA, as the word EXEMPT bestowed upon them by the judicial a life long gift to them, to get paid for their absolutely empty physical beings, stinking up all those single chairs.. in every courthouse offices.
Please supervisor somewhere in OCA...write to me and refute my description of you.

Anonymous said...

If it would take over 600 years just to pay off the cost of building this hotel, how come Lippman is getting a free pass for this major waste of taxpayer dollars?

This seems to be beyond incompetence. This is probably just the tip of the iceberg for the waste and mismanagement that he has forced upon the citizens of NY.

Cuomo should use some of his behind the scenes inducements to get him out.

Anonymous said...

Lippman is laying off 500 employees--his royal highness enjoys every bit of seeing it happen! There are other alternatives to laying off people's JOBS, Judge Lippman. Do you have any conscience at all? You have other options to choose rather than taking away people's livelihoods!

Anonymous said...

Gov. Cuomo should REMOVE Lippman and see how he likes it! People unite--don't take this crap! Shine the light on Lippman and all his wasteful spending.

Anonymous said...

There is NO justification whatsoever to layoff 500 employees while Judge Lippman's court system has a $ reserve available to it.

Anonymous said...

Judge Lippman fights for judges getting raises but couldn't care less about anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Gov. Cuomo--LAYOFFS=NO JUDICIAL RAISES! Pass it down to Lippman.

Anonymous said...

Where is Andy? Gov. Cuomo should take Jonathan Lippman to the wood shed and beat the hell out him. Andy must stop this NOW!

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