A Florida grand jury decided Wednesday not to investigate the so-called “Taj Mahal” state appellate courthouse in Tallahassee, which has become a symbol of excessive spending in the midst of a budget crisis, reports the Miami Herald. With $48 million cost and lavish accoutrements for First District Court of Appeal judges, the courthouse came to symbolize the shadowy world of legislative horse trading involving top lawmakers, including Gov. Charlie Crist.
But Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs said the grand jury didn’t think there was a crime behind it. The courthouse money was slipped into the budget and a transportation bill in the waning days of the session in 2007. Politician have tried to distance themselves from the building. One current legislative leader said it was a priority of then-House Speaker Marco Rubio, who denied the claim and said it “was not something I worked on as speaker.”