Here come the Judges' monthly fees: who pays?

Sunday, January 1, 2006

WASHINGTON--Federal judges who will be getting home security systems installed and paid for by taxpayers are waiting to find out whether taxpayers will also foot the bill for the monthly monitoring fees.
As Security Systems News went to press, the judges were expecting an answer by mid-December, said Nikki Credic, spokeswoman for the United States Marshals Service.
Congress appropriated $12 million to pay for security systems in homes of the more than 2,000 federal judges in May of 2005.
The appropriation was prompted by the murders last year of the husband and mother of Chicago-area federal judge Joan Lefkow and a similar incident in Atlanta.
Credic said that when Congress appropriated the money it failed to specify who would pay the $25-$30 monthly monitoring fee, and also failed to specify a single contractor to install the security systems.
Credic was unsure whether a single nationwide contractor would be chosen to install the security systems or if more than one alarm contractor would be provided.
Part of the executive branch, the Marshals Service falls under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Justice, and is the enforcement arm of the federal courts.
In addition to protecting federal judges, the 94 Marshals Service district offices across the country operate the Witness Security Program, transport federal prisoners and seize illegally acquired property from criminals.