Later, Minear looked into the matter and decided to forgive the tickets, Jones said.
While the permits are issued for a half hour, court hearings routinely run over and the news vehicles are parked there for longer than that, he said.
"News people have to get in and out of there," Jones said. "You have little ladies carrying tripods on deadline. ... It's hard to get close to the courtroom for reporters, and we like to try to accommodate people."
Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper agreed with the decision to quash the tickets.
Had they not been quashed, Carper said he would have personally paid them.
"In light most favorable to him [Halloran], his timing stinks."
Halloran did not return phone messages for this story.
Jones said an agent from the Judicial Investigation Commission is conducting interviews regarding Halloran locking the doors of his courtroom March 20.
"Apparently we got caught in the crossfire with this magistrate and the news media," he said. "I think the case with the police officer was handled properly. I'm not talking about in the courtroom, but with the police and the federal government."
Waterhouse also said he's spoken with an investigator for the commission.
Skip Garten, counsel for the commission, said he can't comment on whether there is an ongoing investigation.
Garten said when a complaint is filed, there is an investigation followed by a hearing by the nine-member commission.
The commission, made up of six judges and three non-judicial officers, can decide to dismiss the complaint, admonish the offending judicial officer, or forward the complaint to the Judicial Hearing Board.
That board will then conduct a hearing and make a recommendation to the state Supreme Court, which makes the ultimate decision on the case, he said.
Reach Gary Harki at gha...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.