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Long Beach : Court's Reporting Criticized

June 18, 1987

A Grand Jury audit of the Long Beach Municipal Court clerk criticized the administrative agency's financial controls but did not cite any instance in which money was missing or improprieties had occurred. At the same time, the audit noted that the Long Beach court--second largest of 23 municipal courts in the county--handled 10% to 20% more cases than average at a cost of 10% to 20% less.

James H. Weaver, court administrator and clerk for the Long Beach Judicial District, said his office volunteered to take part in the Grand Jury examination, conducted by the accounting firm of Deloitte Haskins and Sells.

While Weaver "concurred in a great deal of the findings," he said his office was unfairly criticized for personnel management policies that are limited because municipal courts are "underfunded" by county government. The audit complained that the clerk lacked efficiency in reporting, documenting and processing fees and fines. Weaver said those accounting issues "are being addressed in a new (advanced computer) system that is being developed and is partially implemented."

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