Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Monday, January 29, 2007


Page 3


CJC Flunks Fire Inspection, Officials Say Problems Are Being Corrected


By a MetNews Staff Writer


An inspection of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center by the Los Angeles Fire Department showed more than 100 possible violations, but the problems are relatively minor and appear to be on their way to correction, court and fire officials said Friday.

“We’re in the process of getting things corrected” following an inspection two weeks ago, Capt. Terry Wortham of the LAFD Fire Prevention Bureau said. While the inspection revealed  “a variety of issues” in the building, which houses offices of the district attorney and public defender as well as courts, Wortham said, a good faith effort is apparently being made to correct them.

The building will likely receive a clean bill of health in a week or two, making consideration of sanctions unnecessary, Wortham added. 

The most significant problems, he said, were discovered in and around the chambers of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lance Ito, who—unlike most of his colleagues, apparently—had his chambers doors open when inspector Alexander Molina walked by.

Ito apparently had a number of “storage variety items...blocking a hallway or corridor,” Wortham said. He explained that he was basing his explanation on the report of the inspector, who was not available for comment.

Wortham added that the office of Supervisor Gloria Molina had been notified, since the facility is a county building in her district. Molina’s spokesperson did not return a phone call late Friday.

Ito did not return a MetNews phone call, but a court spokesperson said that officials of the court and the other affected agencies were working on compliance with the inspector’s “119 suggestions,” including the moving of a number of bookcases, and that no court operations have been or will be disrupted.

Judge David Wesley, who sits in the building, said that he had spoken to Ito and that the major problem appeared to be that the judge had been storing a quantity of  emergency supplies that have since been, or are in the process of being, given away.


Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company