September 2, 2008

Little Wonder We're in Trouble

Justin Katz

We've reached a state of near parody:

While Political Scene was trolling the hallway outside Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank J. Williams' office, in the Licht Judicial Complex, last week, something sparkly caught our eye.

A contractor perched atop elevated scaffolding was installing 23-carat gold leaf on the detailed ceiling trim.

The work appeared part of a minor renovation in the marble lobby.

The costly gold is imported from Italy, according to the worker. Its ornate packaging names the company: Giusto Manetti Firenze Goldbeaters, a Florence importer.

Chief Justice Williams most recently made the news by insisting that the governor and the public employee unions return to negotiations because "firmly believes that mediation and negotiation can produce a far better resolution." Let it be written; let it be done... I guess.

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Gold leafing in our courthouses?! Could there be anything more imperious, lavish and out of touch?

Posted by: Monique at September 2, 2008 6:46 AM

Plush toilet seats....

Posted by: joe bernstein at September 2, 2008 9:22 AM

Of course the crack investigative reporters at Projo didn't get the price of the stuff and any other details. (Such as: it's 3x the price of paint but lasts 15x longer) Until I know those details, it's a stupid, gotcha kind-of frivilous story.

Posted by: George at September 2, 2008 11:03 AM

Gee, when Frank WIlliams saw the stage they erected for Barack Obama at the Invesco Center for the Democrat Convention, I'll bet he suffered a sudden case of "Pillar Envy"!

Frank WIlliams - what an egomaniacal embarrassment for the State of Rhode Island.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at September 2, 2008 12:20 PM

Isn't this the same Williams that said it was okay to use TriState and Falcon Maintenance Cos. even though 80% of their staff were illegals?

Isn't this the same guy who looked the other way while I9's were years late, incomplete and forged?

And this judge wonders why people walk down the street talking to themselves? Wondering what happened to their sanity because of two judges who are out to sack the Governor on anything he does like, well, balancing the budget?

The gold leaf really doesn't bother me. That's a one time cost.

Hurst and this Williams guy are two judges that might have inhaled too much Dust Off.

Posted by: Roland at September 3, 2008 1:37 AM

Williams has always felt that the judicial branch of government in RI has been given short-thrift as compared to the executive and legislative branches. He's probably correct.

However, his timing is poor. Williams is trying to expand funding for the judiciary at the same time the state faces record finanical problems and the rest of state government is contracting.

Installing gold leaf at a time when state workers are losing their jobs and taxpayers are feeling pinched comes across as sheer hubris.

Posted by: Anthony at September 3, 2008 11:33 AM
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