No Crime Found in Court's Spending

The district attorney's office has discovered no evidence of criminal wrongdoing in expenditures at the South Bay Municipal Court but recommended this week that the county chief administrative office continue its investigation of the spending.

The criminal investigation looked at court expenses approved over the past two years by the assistant administrator, Mark Lomax. The charges included a $4,600 Moscow trip for a law clerk and a series of seminars for an administrator costing $8,400.

In a letter to the court, Deputy Dist. Atty. Gregory Thompson said there was not enough evidence to show "fraudulent appropriation" of court funds. "It is not enough for the expenditure to be unwise, unsound or of doubtful utility," he wrote.

The court has a $3.5-million operating budget, which court officials argue is inadequate.

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