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Expenses by 'profligate' Judicial Council were justified

To the editor: Like the state auditor's report on purported waste by California's judicial branch, The Times' editorial fails to provide context. ("Profligacy at the state's Judicial Council?," Editorial, Jan. 13)

Much of the spending by the Judicial Council's administrative arm, including the salaries, cars and temporary employees the auditor criticizes, is incurred to provide services to the trial courts and perform necessary functions that the trial courts cannot afford.

Also, Judicial Council administrative salaries are mostly similar to or lower than comparable trial court administrative salaries.

California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye correctly observed in her response to the audit that all public entities should welcome recommendations to do a better job of spending public dollars. That includes the state Legislature, executive agencies and trial courts as well as the Judicial Council.

Terry Friedman, Santa Monica

The writer is a retired Los Angeles County Superior Court judge.

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