SAN FRANCISCO — A state audit released Wednesday questions millions of dollars of spending by a California court agency, saying it deprived the state's trial courts of badly needed funding. Here's some of what it found:
— The Administrative Office of the Courts pays eight of its nine office directors more than the governor and many other high-ranking executive branch officials;
— It maintains a fleet of 66 vehicles without requiring its offices to justify their need;
— It employs over 70 contractors and temporary employees and could save about $7 million annually by using state employees instead;
— It has few policies or controls to ensure funds are properly spent;
— Over the past four years, it made about $386 million in payments on behalf of trial courts using funds specifically earmarked for them. The audit found that it could have covered a portion of those payments from its own funds.