Calif. Cuts Force Massive L.A. County Court Layoffs

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The Los Angeles County court system is the latest causality of California budget cutbacks.

The county is being forced to launch a series of layoffs, work reductions, and transfers Friday that will affect 431 court employees and 56 courtrooms across the nation's largest superior court system.

Presiding Judge Lee Smalley Edmon was angered by the pending layoffs. She noted that even longtime employees were being cut in a bid to save $30 million.

"We are laying off people who are committed to serving the public," she said. "It is a terrible loss both to these dedicated employees and to the public."

Under the plan, 157 people will lose their jobs, and hundreds more will be given lower-level positions, reduced to part-time, or transferred to new jobs.

"The commitment of our judicial officers and staff to preserve access to justice is unwavering. But our ability to follow through on that commitment may soon be exhausted," John A. Clarke, the executive officer and clerk of the court, warned.

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