JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- A fire protection test is scheduled to start at 4am Saturday for the new Duval County Courthouse.
Fire Chief Marty Senterfitt says if the new courthouse passes some of the tests Saturday, they could open just part of it to the public.
The courthouse was supposed to open on Tuesday. It hasn't. The state attorney says they're already backed up because the building can't pass inspection. State attorney Angela Corey says the victims in pending court cases are taking it hard. "A victim sat in the hallway crying because they couldn't schedule it because the courthouse closed," said Corey.
Until this building passes the fire inspection tests, Corey and her team can't hold jury trials. She's fired up about it.
The city gave contingency plans, but Corey says they aren't feasible. "There's a basic lack of understanding that's in the city. They say let's farm out and do one in Nassau or Clay. Let's go to Hemming Plaza and hold a murder trial. That's just not how we conduct business," said Corey.
Even Friday, the fire chief said they could still go back into the old courthouse if tests fail Saturday. The clerk of courts disagrees. "I don't know. I don't want to go back there. The a/c has been off. It's just a mess," said Jim Fuller.
The state attorney's office handles about 400 cases a day, meaning everything is piling up. Corey places the blame on the mayor. "We can't get a straight answer. The same way that everything that happens in my office falls on me, I'm assuming everything that's going on goes back to Mayor Brown," said Corey.
She just wants the courthouse open. She says city leaders spent too much time fighting over things already approved, like furniture. She also points to the major mess up this week, almost costing Jacksonville their Jaguars. "The city is over there with all their stuff going on, undoing it the same way they tried to undo the Jags. I mean really," said Corey. "My thought is that there's no excuse for it," said Corey.
The test will take several hours to finish. The clerk of courts does want to remind you, if you have a jury summons for Monday, do not show up at the courthouse. Jury trials were cancelled.
You can count on Action News to bring you the very latest as soon as we find out if the building passes.