The head of a local government watchdog group went before a New Orleans City Council committee Wednesday to discuss her group's recommendation that the number of judgeships in the city be reduced significantly.
Janet Howard, President/CEO of the Bureau of Governmental Research, told the Council's Governmental Affairs Committee a formula used by the State Supreme Court's Judicial Council suggests the court system in Orleans Parish has far more judges than are needed.
"According to its estimates, the parish's seven courts need 20 judges, 25 fewer than the 45 they currently have," Howard said.
And the problem isn't concentrated in just one or two courts.
"Six of the seven courts have more than twice as many judges as the formula estimates they need. Municipal court is the one court that appears to have the right number of judges under the formula," Howard stated.
The BGR report entitled, "Benchmarking the Bench: Are Public Dollars Being Wasted on Excess Judgeships in Orleans Parish?", was issued last month.