FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Now that attorneys plan to ask a judge to shut down part or all of the Broward County courthouse after alarming levels of mold were found, the county is determining its next move.

The attorneys are suing on behalf of more than a dozen courthouse employees.

They hired a toxicologist to perform tests on 8 areas, courtrooms, judge’s chambers and staff areas.

“There have been nothing more than band aids in maintenance instead of a system attempt to correct it,” says attorney Robert McKee.

Last Thursday, Chief Judge Victor Tobin consulted the board of health about the courthouse.

He is asking the county to test the environmental condition of the building using a neutral company.

Tobin wrote to the county saying “the users of the courthouse have little or no reliable evidence.  Speculation is rampant and the issue needs to be resolved.  I question whether we are going to be able to inhabit this building for the next 4 or 5 years while the new courthouse is being built.”

Tobin is doubtful there would be a viable alternative if courthouse workers had to relocate to outside space.

“When you’re dealing with 440,000 square feet it’s not so easy to just move everybody,” said Tobin. “But that doesn’t mean if portions are found to be unusable we couldn’t move divisions of the court like family or delinquency.”

But county administrators hope it won’t come to that.  Administrator Bertha Henry tells CBS 4’s Joan Murray, “our study does not substantiate the problems are significant to relocate people.  At the end of the day we think it can be avoided.  It is not in our best interest to ignore a problem.”

The county however is in the process of contracting with an independent company to fully test the courthouse for mold and other contaminants.

Comments (2)
  1. Concerned Citizen says:

    It’s a shame that someone had to lose their life for something to be done about this. A sewage pipe burst about 2 years ago on the 2nd floor. The walls were painted and a group of employees that did not work in this area were taken from where they work on another floor in order to work in the contaminated space. Please keep in mind that this space was a CLOSET before the sewage spill. There are dozens of employees that come to work each day that encounter respiratory jissues as soon as they get to their workspace. The concern is the entire building. There are decomposing rats in the walls. Employees are even forced to handle the sewage contaminated files. Their Union is in bed with their employer so no one seems to care. The entire building should be checked by an independant agency or a health department of another county. With the amout of corruption that goes on in the Broward County Courthouse, I doubt that an impartial evaluation can be conducted by a Broward CKounty agency.

  2. nneimiller says:

    There tech availible now at a reasonable price that will sovle this problem