Video: Taxpayer-funded trips overseas raise questions


FITS. DAVID GLOBE TROTTING ON THE TAX : PAYER’S DIME. MARYLAND’S CHIEF JUDGE MARY ELLEN BARBERA AND THE STATES TOP COURT ADMINISTRATOR PAMELA HARRIS. JETTING OFF TOGETHER TO INDIA AND CHINA AND HARRIS ALSO VISITING THE HAGUE IN THE NETHERLANDS. THE COMBINED VISITS COSTING TAXPAYERS MORE THAN $26,000.>>THERE’S A LOT OF RED FLAGS HERE. THERE’S A VERY THIN LINE BETWEEN EDUCATIONAL AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITY THAT CAN BRING BACK KNOWLEDGE TO THE COURT AND WHAT IS MORE OF A JUNKET. DAVID THROUGH A SPOKESMAN, BOTH : JUDGE BARBERA AND COURT ADMINISTRATOR HARRIS DECLINED COMMENT. THE INDIA ITINERARY INCLUDED OPPORTUNITIES TO GO ON HISTORIC CULTURAL TOUR IN CHENNAI, SIGHTSEEING IN CHENNAI AND IT ALSO INCLUDED A SEMINAR COMPARING PERSPECTIVES ON INDIA & THE U.S. AND ONE ON LEGAL SYSTEMS TO SHOW THAT THIS WAS TRULY AN>>EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY, IT’S HELPFUL FOR THE TAX PAYERS TO SEE WHAT WAS THE AGENDA AND A SUMMARY OF WHAT WAS LEARNED, A SHORT REPORT. THE TRIP TO CHINA INCLUDED DAVID VISITS TO THE GREAT WALL, : TIANANMEN SQUARE AND THE FORBIDDEN CITY. THE AGENDA SCHEDULED A MEETING WITH THE PEOPLE’S CONGRESS, THE WOMEN JUDGES ASSOCIATION AND THE CHINA UNIVERISTY OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND LAW. THE MARYLAND JUDICIARY CONTROLS ITS OWN BUDGET WITH NO DIRECT OVERSIGHT. A YEAR AGO THIS MONTH, THE STATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR SOUGHT PERMISSION TO GO TO THE HAGUE APPROVED THE SAME DAY BY JUD BARBERA. ANY NOISE ? THE 11TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR COURT ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE WAS HELD AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER IN THE HAGUE. THE INVITATION SAYS THE CONFERENCE OFFERS THE UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN ABOUT THE DIFFERENT EUROPEAN LEGAL SYSTEMS AND THEIR RESPECTIVE COURT MANAGMENT APPROACHES.>>IF THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE SUCH AN EXTREME OVERSIGHT OVER THEIR OWN BUDGET, CERTAINLY THEY NEED TO BACK IT UP WITH TRANSPARENCY AND PROCEDURES SO THE TAX PAYERS HAVE THE ULTIMATE ACCOUNTABILITY. DAVID ACCORDING TO A SPOKESMAN : WITH THE MARYLAND JUDICIARY, NEITHER THE CHIEF JUDGE NOR THE TOP COURT ADMINISTRATOR IS REQUIRED TO WRITE REPORTS, BRIEF STAFF OR SHARE INFORMATION GLEANED FROM THEIR OVERSEAS TRIPS.

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