California’s judicial bureaucracy wasted millions on overpaid employees and “questionable business practices,” as Judicial Council supervisors turned a blind eye, according to an exhaustive investigation by the state auditor published Wednesday.

The auditor’s blistering, 96-page report noted that nine of the AOC’s office directors are paid more than the governor, and also pointed to a series of other indulgences that have eroded confidence in the bureaucracy and diminished resources that would have otherwise gone to the trial courts.

“The level of the Judicial Council’s involvement in the AOC’s budget process and expenditure decisions appears to have been more ministerial than substantive. In the absence of adequate oversight, the AOC engaged in questionable compensation and business practices, and failed to adequately disclose its expenditures to stakeholders and the public,” Auditor Elaine Howle wrote.

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