The Latest on Mold in the Federal Courthouse

Intrepid reporter Julie Kay continues her terrific coverage of the mold scandal at the “old old” federal courthouse, here:

The children of deceased Magistrate Judge Ted Klein have filed a complaint in Miami federal court accusing the General Services Administration of failing to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request seeking information about the David Dyer Federal Courthouse.The complaint asks U.S. District Judge Alan Gold to declare GSA — an arm of the federal government — in violation of FOIA and order the agency to provide requested records to the plaintiffs. The complaint was filed Dec. 28 by Miami attorney Alan Goldfarb on behalf of Andrew and Jennifer Klein.

Popular federal magistate judge Ted Klein — who worked in the Dyer building for many years — died in 2006 suddenly of a mysterious pulmonary illness. Klein’s children hired Goldfarb after reading an article in the Daily Business Review, an affiliate of The National Law Journal, about a report citing large amounts of mold and unsafe conditions in parts of the Dyer building.

The article also cited a memo sent by U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno in which he advises all employees of the building to bring the report to their doctors and orders anyone entering the building’s basement — where the most mold was found — to wear protective gear, gloves and masks.Several employees of the building, which houses Miami’s magistrate court, have reported nosebleeds, double pneumonia and other illnesses, and at least two have been given permission to work at home.

Hmm. Wonder if Judge Gold will recuse?This is the tip of the iceberg. As anyone who sues governmental agencies know, they don’t usually step right up, come to the table and do the right thing.Is this an issue better left to fester in the public eye, with a steady drip-drop of damaging headlines and allegations, or should a knowledgeable decision-maker get involved, bite the bullet, and resolve this (and the related cases that are sure to follow) in a fair, reasonable, and expeditious manner?

(note – photo above not the federal courthouse, just my sunny downtown exposure!)