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Congressmen criticize plan to build new downtown L.A. courthouse

August 20, 2012 |  7:06 am

Rep. Jeff DenhamAlthough construction on a new federal courthouse is slated to begin this year, two congressmen are speaking out against a plan that would add a third courthouse and another federal office building in downtown Los Angeles.

Rep. Jeff Denham, a Republican from Atwater in Central California, called the proposal a "sham" at a hearing Friday in Los Angeles and said the judiciary would not need more space if its judges shared courtrooms more efficiently.

Under the plan proposed by the U.S. General Services Administration, two buildings would be built on a lot bounded by Broadway and 1st Street and 2nd and Hill streets. Part of the project would be funded by a private developer, which in return would take over an existing federal courthouse building on Spring Street.

Denham was joined by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), who also criticized the General Services Administration's plan.

"It's outrageous that judges insist upon having their own courtrooms when they don't use them, when they spend much of the time vacant," Shuster said.

General Services Administration officials say the new proposal would allow them to consolidate federal employees into a central campus and dispose of an unneeded asset, while helping the ongoing revitalization efforts in the Civic Center.

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-- Sam Allen

Photo: U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, a Republican from Atwater in Central California, called the plan to build a new federal courthouse and federal office building in downtown Los Angeles a "sham" and said the judiciary would not need more space if its judges shared courtrooms more efficiently. Credit: U.S. House of Representatives.

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