Because They’re Better than You
At some point it just becomes clear that our rulers have so little concern for the rest of us that even considerations of appearances go out the custom-trimmed window:
Frank J. Williams stepped down as chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court in December, but he continues to work as a judge and recently moved into a new office in the Licht Judicial Complex that cost nearly $43,000 to renovate.
Most of the money was spent on custom mahogany cabinets, shelving and doors — at a cost of $29,475. The invoice for the work shows that the contractors used “custom knives” to duplicate molding and that it took 173 hours to refashion the office space, on the seventh floor of the courthouse, at a cost of $46.80 per hour.
Perhaps Home Depot was out of the $1.43-per-foot trim that most folks use in their homes. But that doesn’t explain the hiding of the semi-retired judge’s crib:
Supreme Court Administrator J. Joseph Baxter Jr. refused to let a Journal reporter see the remodeled chambers because, he said, “it’s a private office in a nonpublic area” of the courthouse.
The Supreme Court offices, conference rooms and courtroom take the entire seventh floor of the sprawling courthouse on South Main Street. “It’s Mr. Baxter’s feeling that you need the permission of the justice [Williams] to see those particular chambers,” said Craig Berke, spokesman for the court system.
Williams, who used to invite reporters into his former chambers for interviews and was the subject of a Workspaces profile by The Wall Street Journal in 2001, was not amenable to showing off his new office to a reporter this week.
Methinks the new revolution shouldn’t stop at tea parties.