Statement from Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. re. inquiry into bonding practices of AOC Court facilities construction program

February 26, 2009 The following statement by Chief Justice John Minton was released by AOC today:

Kentucky Court of Justice to launch audit of court facilities construction program
 “In light of questions that have arisen regarding the court system’s bonding practices, today I authorized the Administrative Office of the Courts to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Kentucky Court of Justice court facilities construction program. I am committed to ensuring that all aspects of this program are in complete compliance with state statutes and our own Administrative Procedures. The AOC will be retaining counsel with expertise in construction law to carry out this intensive review. This audit will begin immediately and its findings will be made public upon completion.
 
The importance and scope of our court facilities program cannot be underestimated. Kentucky citizens generate more than 1 million court cases each year, which are heard in courthouses and judicial centers in each of our 120 counties. Kentuckians count on us to provide safe, efficient buildings where they can exercise their constitutional rights. The Judicial Branch’s performance in carrying out this solemn responsibility must inspire confidence and be above reproach.As we move forward during this time of transition, I have named Doug Teague to serve as acting executive officer of the AOC Department of Facilities. Mr. Teague has been employed with the AOC for six years, first as AOC budget director and then as controller. While at the AOC, he has worked extensively on the Department of Facilities budget and has served on several Project Development Boards for court facility projects. Prior to joining the AOC, Mr. Teague worked for the Legislative Research Commission’s budget department for 10 years. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kentucky. His appointment is effective today.”
The Lexington Herald reports:

“The Administrative Office of the Courts will be retaining counsel with expertise in construction law to carry out this intensive review,” Minton said in a prepared statement. “This audit will begin immediately and its findings will be made public upon completion.”

The AOC’s chief architect, Garlan VanHook, resigned this week after questions were raised about a job that his brother received last year at Codell Construction of Winchester, which has built the majority of new courthouses in recent years.

Also, in a letter to the AOC this week, national experts raised questions about VanHook’s failure to make sure that courthouse projects are fully insured.”

 

Last week LawReader published the following story about the former executive officer of the AOC Department of Facilities.  Garlan VanHook resigns as head of Kentucky’s court facilities program
 
 
 

 

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