MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For years, at the Broward County courthouse, there has been one problem after another.
Just as CBS4’s Ted Scouten was about to start an interview with the Clerk of Courts to speak about the aging structure, Scouten got a first-hand look at the brand new courthouse.
The clerk’s Chief Administrator, Iris Siple, interrupted the interview, “Before you start you will not believe this…there’s water dripping out of my ceiling, out of the light fixture. It’s starting to drop on the floor. This is about the 12th time that has happened.”
It’s a small leak, just a few drops, but folks at the courthouse know what can happen next. Over the past few years, floods have ruined files and equipment.
“The building’s old, there’s leaks galore,” said clerk Howard Forman. “We’ve had numerous accounts of vermin, numerous account of mold.”
Even Chief Judge Peter Weinstein has a rat problem.
“I know you have a picture of my rat trap,” he said, “we do have rats in the building.”
But the issues won’t be a problem much longer, as right next door is a new 20-story courthouse–CBS4 got a look inside.
There’s plenty of room, nearly 80 courtrooms and lots of security. It’s a building with security components in every aspect of the design.
“The judges will have the ability to lock the doors from a switch on the bench,” said Judge Weinstein. “That will be to either to prevent, if there is something dangerous outside the courtroom, or from somebody, in custody, trying to escape.”
That was a problem in January of 2009. A guy ran from court, jumped in the New River and drowned.
More security, no mold and no leaks, for the hundreds who work at the courthouse, the move can’t come fast enough.
“What would you call it when you move over there, like paradise?” Scouten asked Forman. The clerk broke out in the Hallelujah Chorus, “No,” he said, “it’s like, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!”
The building’s completion is a few months behind. It should be ready toward the end of the year.