The DOI probe, now officially underway, marks the first time a government agency has investigated the troubled courthouse on East 161st Street, which opened three years behind schedule, ran $100 million over budget, and spurred a host of lawsuits involving more than 30 parties, from architects and engineers to construction contractors and state agencies.
The state Dormitory Authority spent more than $400 million in taxpayer dollars to construct the Bronx Hall of Justice, but says it doesn’t know how much of that amount went toward building the property’s civic plaza—a sprawling, unused space that remains closed eleven years after its slated opening date.
The state Dormitory Authority this week declined to make public the amount of taxpayer funds spent to construct the troubled Bronx Hall of Justice, including expenditures on the building’s still-shuttered civic plaza and rooftop rock garden, following a Bronx Justice News investigation.
Responding to a Bronx Justice News investigation revealing millions in squandered tax dollars and lack of oversight at the courthouse, City Councilman Ritchie Torres, Chair of the Oversight and Investigations Committee, said he is weighing an official probe into the troubled building.
Eleven years after the Bronx Hall of Justice opened its doors on East 161st St., the building’s sprawling “public courtyard” remains closed to the public. The unused space is costing taxpayers millions in maintenance and repair expenditures, and is unlikely to ever see public use unless an array of safety issues are addressed, a Bronx Justice News investigation found.