Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, December 3, 2003


Page 3


Substance Found at Courthouse Harmless, Police Say


By DAVID WATSON, Staff Writer


A suspicious powder found in a piece of mail at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse downtown last week turned out to be harmless, police said yesterday.

Los Angeles Police Officer Jason Lee said the whitish-yellowish powder, which prompted partial evacuation of the courthouse when it was discovered, was determined after testing not to be toxic.

A court spokesperson said the substance was discovered last Tuesday afternoon by an employee who opened a piece of mail in the courtís Human Resources Department. The mail, which has a return address in Vermont and a New Hampshire postmark, was delivered to that department because it was addressed ambiguously, he explained.

The employee promptly reported the suspicious substance, and the entire second floor of the courthouse building was evacuated.

Chief Justice Ronald M. George was visiting the building to attend a ceremony involving Judge Burt Pines, who was appointed to the court Nov. 12 by then-Gov. Gray Davis. That ceremony was scheduled to take place on the second floor, but was moved to the fifth floor courtroom of Supervising Judge Carolyn Kuhl.

Pines, the judicial appointments secretary to former Gov. Gray Davis, was appointed to the bench along with Deputy District Attorneys Michael D. Carter and Michael A. Latin and lawyers Wendy L. Kohn, Jan G. Levine and Michael P. Linfield. All were sworn in before Davis left office Nov. 17.


Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company