RANDOLPH, MASS. (WHDH) - Lombardo’s is known locally for hosting weddings and many other events but now it is switching its clientele. Officials say it is turning into a courthouse.
David Lombardo the General Manager of Lombardo’s in Randolph showed off Norfolk County’s newest courthouse Wednesday. The state has rented out the popular function hall and converted two ballrooms into temporary courtrooms due to the impacts of the pandemic.
“We don’t have a courtroom capable or able to hold a trial in Norfolk County because of the age and condition of our courthouses,” District Attorney Michael Morrissey explained. “The courtrooms are too small. They weren’t set up for this. And with the air quality issues, we’re dead in the water.”
The court will also be getting some use out of Vincent’s Nightclub.
“We’re currently building three holding cells for detainees when they come in for their cases,” Lombardo said. “So, what was once a nightclub will now be a jail cell essentially, it will be quite interesting.”
Court officials, who recently toured the facility, say the pandemic shutdown has created a serious backlog of cases.
“I think we’ve identified probably 20 to 25 murder cases alone that are waiting to be tried,” said Morrissey. “The bad offenders who are a danger to society, we try to put into the jail to await trial, but we’re running out of space.”
Lombardo’s was forced to shut down and furlough nearly all of its 150 employees last March. The manager said he welcome’s the state’s business.
“Something that’s very exciting for us to be able to get back open and get some of our associates back to work and create a little bit of positive revenue after a really really difficult year,” he said.
The state is paying the function hall nearly $370,000 for four months’ rent. Court officials said they are scouting other locations around the state to perform the same task.
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