HOUSTON – On Tuesday, well-known investigative reporter Wayne Dolcefino was charged with contempt of court and sentenced to three days in jail and six months probation.
According to court documents, Dolcefino went up to Judge Darrell Jordan as he sat on the bench and demanded to interview him. Court documents said he was told three times to either have a seat or leave and the judge finally threatened to have him arrested, to which Dolcefino allegedly replied, “Do what you have to do.”
Wednesday morning, Dolcefino walked into court shackled and disheveled but was represented by two powerhouse attorneys, Dan Cogdell and Brian Wice.
“He is passionate, he’s committed, he’s tenacious. Whatever happened yesterday, it’s my understanding that he did not intend to be contentious at all. I think it was a misunderstanding,” said Cogdell.
Wice argued Dolcefino was not technically in contempt of court.
“There has got to be something more than just someone who is boorish, who is offensive, who is unpleasant obnoxious or even juvenile,” said Wice.
However, Judge Jordan begged to differ.
“What happened yesterday was completely off the charts. The only thing that I could have done different was get down on my knees and beg your client to please stop,” said Jordan.
He says Dolcefino will not get special treatment for being a well-known journalist.
“There can only be one standard and that’s how we end discrimination. That’s how we end unequal treatment in our courts. We ensure that everyone is treated the same,” said Jordan.
Dolcefino was released on $100 bail Wednesday afternoon. One of his conditions of bail is an ankle monitor, which his attorneys argued he did not need. However, Jordan fired back.
“He made comments that he is not going to stop drinking rum, he says he has a vacation house in Georgia, Florida that he is not going to give up, so none of these conditions are just arbitrary, these are conditions based upon your client’s behavior and his comments,” said Jordan.
Disclaimer: Brian Wice is an analyst for KPRC 2 in matters of law and legal proceedings.