COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - The new Ralph L. Carr Justice Center in Denver is literally a Taj Mahal of courthouses. Some of the offices are decked like a potentate would live there. Our sister affiliate in Denver, KMGH found out that nine million dollars of furniture has been purchased for the building. The list of expensive stuff includes five thousand dollar desks and 48 hundred dollar sofas for judicial chambers.
The Carr Justice Center is home to a who's who of legal minds including the State Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals.
I went to American Galleries Furniture which is a high end store in Colorado Springs. Co-Owner Neno Nenoff showed me a 31 hundred dollar sofa that has some unique pedigree. It's made in the USA by Hancock and Moore. Nenoff says, "They have been suppliers of furniture to the White House since Ronald Reagan. He bought in an office chair and since then through the Bushes, Clintons and Obamas, these first families have all sat on Hancock and Moore furniture." Remember the sofa that Nenoff showed me is 17 hundred dollars cheaper than what's in the courthouse.
I talked with other sales people on the furniture showroom who told me they couldn't believe the price tag for the furniture, either. Becky Bay said this about a five thousand dollar desk, "I would love to see one. Unless it has elephant tusks, I really don't know why it would be that expensive." Julie Pagan wondered how anyone could justify the huge expenditures, "It's really a ridiculous amount of money to be spending on furniture. Our schools, our roads and there are people in need. We need to take that money and put it somewhere else." Dolores Malocsay told me, "There's always more you can spend on something but when you are dealing with taxpayer dollars you should pay not less or the least, but a good happy medium."
The furniture in the new Carr Justice Center did have to meet certain criteria which included that it had last 20 years, be made in the United States and be environmentally friendly. By the way I asked American Galleries Furniture if the furniture they showed would last that long and is made in the USA. The answer to both those questions was yes.