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Harris County Criminal Court Judge Arrested on Charges of Official Oppression

Harris County misdemeanor court Judge Darrell Jordan has been indicted on charges of Official Oppression related to a 2020 incident in which he jailed investigative reporter Wayne Dolcefino for contempt of court.

Jordan was briefly taken into custody and released Monday on a $500 bond from the 339th District Criminal Court under Judge Teiva Bell. Although Official Oppression charges under Texas Penal Code are a Class A Misdemeanor, such cases are referred to felony courts for prosecution.

On June 30, 2020, Dolcefino entered Jordan’s courtroom to question the judge about his lack of action on a series of complaints of public corruption. Dolcefino was wearing a hidden camera to document the interaction.

According to the video evidence, Jordan at first greeted Dolcefino, but then told the reporter he would not answer his questions and threatened to hold him in contempt if he persisted. Moments later, Jordan had Dolcefino shackled and taken to jail.

The following day, television cameras recorded guards ushering Dolcefino back into the courtroom in handcuffs and a jail-issued orange jumpsuit. Jordan then sentenced him to three days in jail and 180 days of probation. After Dolcefino appealed, Jordan added an ...