Judge to issue warrant if owner of collapsed Davenport apartment doesn’t appear in court

DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – A judge this morning rejected an agreement between the city of Davenport and Andrew Wold, the owner of the downtown building that collapsed Memorial Day weekend.

Wold was scheduled to appear at the Scott County District Court on an enforcement action filed by the city that aims to keep Wold from transferring the building to other ownership and avoiding 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.

But that plea isn’t accepted under Iowa law in such cases.

Judge Catherine Z. Cartee told the 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 about 15 minutes until Assistant City Attorney Brian Heyer could appear. He also told Cartee there had been an arrangement with Wold.

But the judge wasn’t having it.

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

After the hearing, Heyer declined to discuss specifics about the arrangement with Wold.

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

The city of Davenport says a building next to a fatal apartment collapse has been evacuated.

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