New York City judges spent taxpayer money on seemingly personal purchases like meditation retreats, framed photographs of themselves, and an iPod, according to the New York Post. Each year, judge's receive an expense allowance of $10,000 each — a citywide total of $12.6 million per year — to cover their work-related costs. But the stipend, which doubled in value on Nov. 1, is sometimes used on "frivolous expenses," the tabloid reports.
The paper points out that a Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice was reimbursed $2,878.40 for a "fact-finding vacation" to Cuba in late September with the National Association of Women Judges, while two Brooklyn Housing Court judges were reimbursed $890 and $780, respectively, for travel, accommodations and program costs at a Northern California meditation getaway. At least 10 Queens Supreme Court judges spent $390 of taxpayer money each on photos of themselves that will hang in a public hallway in the Queens Supreme Court house. Other examples of money that wasn't "spent judiciously" include $260 for a Poland Springs water cooler, a $127 home subscription to the New York Times, a $290 for a air purifier purchased from the Home Shopping Network, and a $233 iPod Touch.