Taxpayers sent judges to expensive resort

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Updated: 7/02/2013 10:00 am Published: 7/02/2013 9:59 am

Your tax money spent at one of America's most luxurious resorts.

An exclusive report from FOX23’s Scott MacFarlane revealed federal judges convened a conference over the weekend, but chose a remarkably elegant place to do hold it.

The resort has posh amenities such as 4 p.m. afternoon teas in a regal dining room and a luxurious indoor pool.

Federal judges in the fourth circuit, which includes North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia, staged an official conference at the world famous Greenbrier Resort, four hours west of Washington, D.C., this weekend.

They used that resort rather than using a government building in DC or the conference room of a chain hotel.

Taxpayers paid for the rooms, $270 a night for judges and federal court staff.

“All kinds of posh amenities, everything a federal judge would want to be pampered with are available there," said Pete Stepp with the National Taxpayers Union.

A court spokesperson told MacFarlane that taxpayers only footed the bill for the travel.

They did not pay for the entertainment on site, which includes horseback riding, indoor and outdoor tennis and a famed candy shop.

About 150 federal judges attended FOX23’s review found many federal court dockets nearly empty late last week because of it.

So many judges were at the resort there were few behind the bench Friday.

To be clear, there was business done at the Greenbrier, including a speech from the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court on Saturday.

Many federal court circuits have staged conferences, too. Including the ninth circuit, which used tax money to send judges to a conference in Maui last year.

In the eighth circuit conference in the Midwest FOX23 found judges were given access to an event called the College Basketball Experience, including a slam dunk competition.

Taxpayers funded the travel.

A spokeswoman for the 4th circuit, the judges who went to the Greenbrier this weekend, said they made a change in 2003.

Instead of annual conferences they are staged every two years to save money.

Taxpayers also picked up the transportation for the judges to get to the resort; a spokeswoman said the Greenbrier is within driving distance for virtually all participants, so travel costs are minimal.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

billw001 - 7/3/2013 11:26 AM
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"Taxpayers sent judges to expensive resort" WRONG! The headline should read... Federal Judges steal money from taxpayers.
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