SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A federal judge says he is "dismayed" that Gov. Jerry Brown's administration is questioning the objectivity of a court-appointed special master who oversees the treatment of mentally ill prison inmates.
The Democratic governor has been criticizing what he calls "the prison lobby" that profits from lawsuits filed against the state over substandard conditions in state prisons.
The administration said in a court filing last month that special master Matthew Lopes may be requiring the state to meet more stringent requirements as a way to ensure that "this revenue stream will continue."
U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton of Sacramento ordered the state Wednesday to consider withdrawing what he called "a smear."
The Associated Press found that special masters and their experts have been paid more than $48 million since 1997.
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