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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Atwater: Taj Mahal courthouse 'far worse' than a pricey building



State auditors are questioning more than $1 million in bills submitted for the new $50 million courthouse built by the 1st District Court of Appeal.

"This is one of the great embarrassments for Florida government,'' new Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said of the building derided as Florida's Taj Mahal. "The audacity and arrogance that was displayed in doing this and their continuing effort to hide the ball has been a complete disservice to hardworking Floridians who deserve better from public officials.''

The day after Atwater was sworn into office this week, he was briefed by auditors who now work for him. He said he will personally inspect every outstanding bill and will allow no payment until he can determine what was purchased. His auditors are continuing an investigation that started under former CFO Alex Sink.

"I now believe it is far worse than just an expensive building,'' Atwater said. (story here)

[Last modified: Saturday, January 8, 2011 12:40pm]


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