TV6 Investigates: Judge says if Wold doesn’t show, she’ll issue warrant

Wold’s attorney calls court in plea attempt
Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 10:43 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2023 at 6:31 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - A judge this morning rejected an attempted plea from Andrew Wold, the owner of the downtown building that collapsed Memorial Day weekend.

Wold was scheduled to appear in Scott County District Court on an enforcement action filed by the city that aimed to keep Wold from transferring the building to other ownership and avoid demolition costs and other fees.

In a bizarre scene in court, Wold’s attorney, Jack O’Brien, called the judge instead of appearing in person. He said the city and Wold had come to an arrangement before the court hearing in which Wold would plead no contest.

City officials later said there was no arrangement and clarified that they did not object to the plea.

But, no contest pleas are not accepted in such court hearings.

Judge Catherine Z. Cartee told Wold’s attorney:

“He has to plead guilty or not guilty. Those are his two choices. … If the defendant fails to appear, I’ll issue a warrant.”

Court adjourned for about 15 minutes until Assistant City Attorney Brian Heyer could appear.

“I know you worked this out with the city,” Cartee told O’Brien. “I’m not approving it.”

After the hearing, Heyer declined to discuss specifics.

Without a plea entered, the judge moved the hearing to 8:30 a.m. Monday, when Wold will have to plead guilty or not guilty.

Later Friday, O’Brien filed a motion to withdraw from the case.