A Dunwoody city official has been fined $1,000 for not getting a permit for the water meter installed to monitor his lawn watering system.

Tony Delmichi, an appointed member of Dunwoody’s Community Council, also was ordered to serve six months probation for not having the $55 permit, which requires an inspection.

Delmichi said he would appeal the judge’s ruling that Delmichi had violated the city code, a misdemeanor. Delmichi said he objected to the requirement he get a permit as an example of overregulation by the city.

“I would like to remind this court that the issue before us today is not the $55 inspection fee…” Delmichi told Municipal Court Judge Kenneth Wickham during the trial. “There is disagreement in the area of overregulation. … People are sick and tired of overregulation.”

Delmichi represented himself in court. The trial included appearances by several present and former city officials. City Councilman Jim Riticher, who has experience as an engineer, and former City Attorney Brian Anderson were called to testify by Delmichi. Mayor Mike Davis and City Councilman John Heneghan sat in the audience and listened to testimony.

Earlier this year, Delmichi appeared at a Dunwoody City Council meeting and passed out subpoenas to the council members to appear at his hearing. A higher court disallowed the subpoenas, city officials have said.

During the trail Feb. 27, Delmichi repeatedly objected to Wickham’s rulings and indicated he did not feel he was receiving a fair hearing.

Prosecutor William Riley argued the case was a simple one of a resident refusing to follow city permit requirements, saying, “It’s very sad that as public official of this city that he would not abide by the rules.”

Riley argued Delmichi should be fined and placed on probation for refusing to get the permit. “When an individual makes a determination as a political statement that they’re going to violate the law, they’re not asking for mercy, they’re asking for justice,” Riley said.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.