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Video shows tense moments between judge and Wayne Dolcefino before contempt of court charge

HOUSTON – A courtroom confrontation that lasted only two minutes landed a well-known former investigative reporter Wayne Dolcefino behind bars.

Dolcefino recorded the video with a pen camera while pressing Harris County Criminal Court Judge Darrell Jordan for answers regarding legal documents Dolcefino requested from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. He said he hadn’t received the documents.

“What happened in that court, what you see on the video, was personal. It wasn’t business. And it was wrong,” said Brian Wice, an attorney representing Dolcefino.

Wice is typically a legal analyst for KPRC 2, but for the purposes of this story is only speaking in his capacity as an attorney and about his client’s case.

”Judge Jordan was tasked with appointing special prosecutors to do their job. It doesn’t appear as if they did, and Wayne had every right to be in that courtroom to ask the questions that he asked,” Wice said.

Wice said the video refutes some of the judge’s account of how the situation played out.

“At the time, Wayne walked in the court and had his exchange with Judge Jordan. They were not conducting business and the extent that Judge Jordan’s order says that is just wrong from here to there.” Wice said.

According to Wice, just as concerning for Dolcefino was his underlying medical condition before he was sentenced to three days in jail. Dolcefino served about a day and a half before bonding out, but the worry was all the same.

“Wayne Dolcefino, whether you like him, love him, hate him or don’t know him, is a poster boy for high-risk infection in the Petri dish that the Harris County jail has become for COVID,” Wice said.

KPRC 2 reached out to Judge Jordan for comment on the story. He issued the following statement: “As with any open case, the Texas Judicial Canons do not permit judges to talk about, speak about an open case with the media or complainants. As a public servant, I believe everything I do is the people’s business. I have nothing to hide.”

According to Wice, he and another attorney representing Dolcefino are waiting to hear back from the state’s Court of Criminal Appeals to see if it will formally hear their case.

“What happened, in this case, wasn’t contempt of court, but was merely a judge overreacting to someone appearing in front of him asking questions he had every right to ask,” Wice said.


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