CA--Orange County Caught in Y2K Jam : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

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Marshal's office is caught in Y2K jam

COUNTY: Request is made for $760,000 to upgrade computers. Supervisor seeks accountability.

March 10, 2000 By CHRIS REED The Orange County Register

It turns out Y2K was a headache for Orange County's government after all  or at least the Marshal's Department.

The department's 11th-hour rush to ensure its new computer system was Y2K-compliant by Jan. 1 generated huge bills that it can't pay.

As a result, Marshal John E. Fuller has asked the Board of Supervisors for quick approval of a $760,000 transfer from his department's automation trust fund. The account, funded by fees collected with each civil-court filing, would be almost empty after the transfer.

But Supervisor Todd Spitzer says Fuller needs to explain why his department struggled to meet Y2K deadlines.

"Initially, it was represented as a $400,000 problem," Spitzer said. "I want to be sure they don't need more money."

The computer system  now 95 percent installed  keeps tabs on marshals' various duties, which include providing courthouse security, serving arrest warrants, seizing property to satisfy judgments, and other court-related services.

Fuller, who succeeded Mike Carona as marshal in February 1999, said the loss of key workers to other departments and to illness delayed crucial work on the computer system.

He said an "accounting faux pas" was to blame for his requesting Y2K-related funding weeks after 2000 began.

Carona, who is now sheriff, said the computer project was on track when he left.

Fuller "needs to own up" to his department's problems, Spitzer said. "This raises questions about oversight."


-- Dee (, March 10, 2000


So basically they spent $760K on a Palm Pilot?

Seems to me Y2K isn't the problem; *stupidity* is the problem.

-- (Simply@mazed.foobar), March 10, 2000.

If you remember that in December 1994, Orange County became the largest municipality in U.S. history to go bankrupt after the County Treasurer lost $1.6 billion of the county's money by playing with derivatives, it all starts making more sense. "Stupidity" is much too kind a term.

Philippe Jorion: Orange County Case

-- I'm Here, I'm There (I'm Everywhere@so.beware), March 11, 2000.

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