This probably won’t surprise anyone who’s followed events surrounding California’s prison receivership, but U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson (artfully lit, right) today refused to boot J. Clark Kelso from the very job Henderson gave him last year.
Attorney General Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger have failed to show that Kelso is acting improperly or that the state’s prison medical care system has improved so much that oversight should be transferred from the receiver to the state, Henderson wrote.
Judgequotes, and more rejecting Jerry/Arnold, after the jump:
“Based on the entire record in this case, the Court is far from confident that Defendants have the will, capacity, or leadership to provide constitutionally adequate medical care in the absence of a receivership, and Defendants have presented no evidence to the contrary. Nor have Defendants offered any rebuttal to the evidence presented by Plaintiffs and the Receiver in their opposition papers concerning the ongoing nature of the constitutional violations.”
The court also — again, not surprisingly — rejected the state’s request that Henderson nix Kelso’s plans to build up to seven new prison medical facilities at a cost of up to $8 billion. That would be premature, Henderson wrote, because Kelso hasn’t submitted any concrete plans to the court for final approval.
“The Court remains committed to ensuring that the Receivership is neither excessive nor wasteful, and the Court again reiterates that the Receivership is not and was never intended to be a permanent solution,” the judge wrote. In stead, he said, quoting from his 2006 order appointing a receiver, “the Receivership ‘shall cease as soon as the Court is satisfied, and so finds in consultation with the Receiver, that Defendants have the will, capacity, and leadership to maintain a system of providing constitutionally adequate medical health care services to class members.” State officials are already weighing an appeal of Henderson’s ruling.
— Cheryl Miller