DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price shoved a WFAA reporter and attempted to slam a door on a CBS 11 reporter Wednesday morning while trying to prevent them from entering his road and bridge office at 1506 E. Langdon.
CBS 11 News was at the office with Dallas County Commissioner Maurine Dickey, who was continuing her ongoing search to find unaccounted-for electronic satellite equipment, paid for by the county.
Dickey said she was told the equipment was at the road and bridge district warehouse, but upon arriving, Price – who is under investigation by the FBI – tried to order Dickey and the reporters off the property. When he realized his request would not be complied with, Price called the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.
Dallas County Commissioners Court Administrator Darryl Martin joined the group as Dickey and the reporters proceeded to the front door of the office.
Price allowed Dickey and Martin inside, but then used his forearm to shove WFAA reporter Brett Shipp as he walked into the doorway of the office. Price then pushed the door onto CBS 11 reporter Bud Gillett, swinging and slamming it several times to prevent him from accompanying Dickey inside.
Price screamed that the county office was “private” to which Gillett replied, “This belongs to the public. I’m a member of the public.”
“This is my office,” Price said, looking Shipp right in the eyes. “You’re not allowed in, OK?”
Commissioner Dickey was physically locked inside the office for about two minutes and was unable to leave. She finally exited and said Price would let her inspect the property, but only if the reporters stayed behind.
“I’m not allowed to come in and see this unless you all get off the property, and this is public property, paid for by the taxpayers,” Dickey told reporters. “This is what Commissioner Price says, I’ve never thrown the media off of my road and bridge property.”
Price ultimately led Dickey to several storage units at the far end of the property but none contained the satellite equipment. The climate-controlled storage pods appeared to be filled with non-perishable emergency sundry items like paper towels, handy-wipes and staplers. She filmed the inside of the pods with her smart phone.
“I’m very disturbed that this public property would not allow media on it,” Dickey said. “I just don’t think there are any rules or laws that say that.”
The five pieces of equipment are valued at about $30,000 each. Dickey said she thinks they have been misplaced, lost or never received. No one was injured in the incident, and Price declined to comment afterward.
“The door was locked and I couldn’t unlock the door,” Dickey said of being inside the office with Price and Martin. She also said she never felt physically threatened, adding, “If I were really worried for my safety I wouldn’t be doing any of this.”
Full, unedited video of the entire incident: