More details emerge about Supervisors’ $347 million Taj Mahal court tower

Revealing article in the Arizona Republic this weekend about the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors’ overpriced marble and travertine court tower they are building with cash during this recession for $347 million, as county employees are being laid off in order to pay for it. This blog has speculated that the special interest contractors who won the bids on the tower contributed to the county supervisors’ election campaigns, that’s why the supervisors refuse to back off on the project. Some excerpts –

Maricopa County’s criminal-court tower project has spurred investigations and complaints by county law enforcement and politicians.

Critics Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas opened an investigation, and County Treasurer Charles Hoskins also asked lawmakers to inquire.

County officials spent more than two years working with an architect to design the tower.

The tower will include a large jury-assembly room for the entire criminal-court complex, state-of-the-art technology and separate waiting rooms for victims and witnesses.

“What kind of morons do we have sitting on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors?” asked Carol Dello Russo of Cave Creek in a Republic letter to the editor. “Now is not the time to be looking 30 to 50 years into the future. What is needed now is an immediate fix to a serious problem.”

Earlier this year, as budget negotiations between county officials and Arpaio and Thomas deteriorated, the pair suggested that officials should kill or postpone the project and use the money to balance the county’s $138.2 million shortfall.

On March 27, Arpaio and Thomas said they were conducting an investigation into “funding and contracts” for the tower.

County Treasurer Hoskins, meanwhile, has asked Republican lawmakers to look into the tower project and told The Republic it should be halted because officials have “refused to give me detailed information about their expenditures” on the project.

Hoskins publically questioned why the county is paying cash for the project at a time when financing is relatively cheap. The cash, he suggested, could be better used to help cover county shortfalls.

“I have no reason to suspect impropriety,” he said at a news conference last month. “It’s nice to have cash in times like these.”


  1. Joe Gonzales says

    Gosh? I wonder why comments are closed on Mayor Vernon Parker. Doesn’t fit your agenda to hear your reader’s comments? Very McCainesque of you.

  2. Here’s Chewie, quickly becoming a one trick pony. As is usual, fails to read the article, or worse reads it yet figures honesty when posting need not apply. Here’s a tidbit in case you didn’t actually read it.
    There isn’t marble,” he said, disputing claims that it’s a Taj Mahal-style building with gold fixtures and marble floors.

    “It’s going to be like B-level quality.”

    That didn’t stop Chewie from stating so in the first line. Why not come up with something original, or better yet, point out where you heard or read there was marble? That’s right, because that would be honest.

    By the way, I’m against the court building. It’s dumb to consolidate downtown when the growth will be East and West.

  3. Roger is Chuck Coughlin says

    Uh, did you read the ABC 15 investigative report? Chewie is repeating what investigative reporter Josh Bernstein found.

  4. Duh, ABC 15 is WRONG, and thus Chewie is wrong. Does he share a head with Josh Bernstein Haven’t seen such lazy reporting since the Dallas Morning News failed to report my presence on the Grassy Knoll.

    Chewie is indeed repeating, since he has no independent thought process. So repeat after me Chewie:

    “I could while away the hours,
    conferring with the flowers
    consulting with the rain.
    And my head I’d be scratching as
    my thoughts were busy hatching
    if I only had a brain”

    Chew on that Chewie you poser

  5. So oswald seems to think he was also on the grassy knoll. That would have been worth reporting. Oswald in two places at once. I guess he showed us his true intelligence.

    The common theme? Distract us from the real story. The cost is secondary. Why all the secrecy? Why pay their fancy lawyer $800,000 with no bid? Why hide what he was paid for? Why doe he run and hid from the camera like a cockroach when the lights come on? WHY ALL THE SECRECY??

    Keep up the great work Chewie!

  6. All that butt kissing you do to the Sheriff has made you immune to sarcasm Billbo. Get a life and stop being such a shameless badge chaser. If getting all the facts wrong and being an opinion whore is “great work”, then you should keep it up too Billbo!!

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