Statement from Dorothy Tucker to the NABJ Family
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I made a rookie mistake. It is important that I own up to it and never repeat it.
Here’s what happened. On Tuesday, April 25, 2023, I entered a courtroom and violated court rules. In pursuit of confirming the identity of a person in a story, I took a photo of a man sitting several rows behind me. I simply wanted to compare that photo with a mugshot I possessed. I had no intention of using it for any other purpose. But that doesn’t matter. It was an impulsive act that was against the rules.
Someone in the courtroom saw me with the cellphone and brought it to the attention of the deputies. When they confronted me, I immediately admitted fault and per their instructions deleted the photo, which they witnessed. Reporters can have cellphones in the courtroom, but they cannot take photos with them. My temporary lapse in judgment is inexcusable.
My actions were later brought to the attention of the judge who issued a temporary prohibition of all cellphones and other electronics into the courthouse. He’s also called for a meeting of all media.
I have written a letter to the presiding judge apologizing and offering total accountability, but I am requesting him not to punish my colleagues. I have also informed my superiors and I am sharing this statement with media representatives apologizing for the harm I may have caused.
My history is one of integrity and honor and so in accordance with that I am disclosing my error publicly and I have learned my lesson.