Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stay out of "disgusting" basement

The mold issue in the David Dyer building continues to find its way onto this blog. Now this:
Chief Judge Moreno has closed the basement and other parts of the Dyer building. According to this AP report:

A federal judge has closed portions of Miami's historic downtown courthouse after a report identified widespread mold infestation and ongoing water leaks, with one part of the basement termed "disgusting" by inspectors.
U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno, the chief judge in Florida's Southern District, said in a memo that parts of the basement that house court records and a stairwell used by judges were being closed until further notice.
"The new steps we are taking may in fact be premature without further microbial testing, but nonetheless we intend to err on the side of caution," Moreno said in the memo dated Friday and obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.
Moreno took action after receiving last week a new U.S. Public Health Service study, which found mold throughout the 166,000-square-foot building that opened in 1933. Known officially as the David W. Dyer building, the courthouse is one of several in Miami's downtown federal judicial complex.

What about the new building? (our prior coverage on the "new" building here)

Across the street, a new 14-story courthouse sits unused, more than $60 million over budget and three years behind schedule. Electrical problems, hurricane damage and contractor disputes are blamed for the delay, which shows no sign of ending.

The report also found:
• A basement sump pump room ''is disgusting,'' has no ventilation and ``is infested with pests.''
What else?
• A leaking toilet above basement space used as a gym by the U.S. Marshals Service has caused suspected mold growth on walls and elsewhere.
• Tests revealed a ''significant fungal presence'' in the basement records room, where previously recommended remedial work was never done. Court personnel have had to wear protective gear while in the room, including coveralls, gloves and a respirator. Water damage is present in an area where classified documents are kept.
• A stairwell leading to the magistrate judges' courtrooms has visible mold on the walls.
The Public Health Service report made 12 recommendations for fixing the mold problem, including repairing numerous water leaks, cleaning air ducts and furniture, replacing damaged ceiling tiles and carpets and throwing out unnecessary contaminated files.


Commodore said...

Wow! Reminds me of the bilge of the Antonia Graza.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Thanks David. What do you think of Judge Moreno writing that the new steps "may in fact be premature" because all the test results are not yet in?

Doesn't this avoid the real issue of why they waited so long to run the initial tests that resulted in this report in the first place?

I'm not saying Judge Moreno is responsible, this probably all pre-dates him becoming Chief Judge, but to call the closure possibly "premature" may be a bit of an overreach.

Anonymous said...

What is the latest with the Liberty 6 case?

Rumpole said...

You post a hanging curve ball like "pests in the courthouse" and I'm the only guy to take a swing?

OK- were the pests those marshals that never let me speak to my clients in court?

Or were they those probation officers who disregard plea deals and write in PSI's that the defendant deserves a ten level increase because he sold a rock of cocaine and thus is responsible for all the cocaine sold in the US over the last year?

Or was it just a group of AUSAs having lunch and being themselves?

Anonymous said...


Please remove Kiko from the CJA listserve.

Anonymous said...

Why has the Court never reached out to the defense lawyers who have used the basement to review classified information?

Anonymous said...

Hey to you republicans going crazy over there:

"The Constitution has little relevance to the government, but still it's interesting to note that the crazed John McCain was born, to his state-connected parents, in the Panama Canal Zone. The Zone, the product of US imperialism under the crazed Teddy Roosevelt, was never officially US territory. That is, McCain was born in a foreign country, and therefore not eligible to be president, according to the Constitution."

Anonymous said...

rumpole you forgot a few

were the pests the family members of criminals whining about why they had to use some of the millions they made from fraud, smuggling to post a bond?

were the pests defense attorneys whining about how unfair everything is for defendant's in the federal system?

were the pests defense attorneys complaining about how they arent enough federal cases being made so they can make big fat fees for holding thier clients hands while taking pleas?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

That monkeymail is genius!!! They even got the cigar right.

Rumpole said...

4:51- Touche!

Anonymous said...

If this is premature, what will it take to be ripe? These problems were first reported in the early 90s. One judge has died from working here, and another is very sick. We should refuse to be in the building

Anonymous said...

Good Job!: )