An arrest warrant was issued Oct. 22 for the operator of a Buckhead mansion after he failed to appear in Municipal Court on various charges related to its controversial event rentals. Meanwhile, the city is seeking a restraining order on an Oct. 27 event advertised for the mansion at 4499 Garmon Road.
At the Oct. 21 court hearing where operator Olutosin O. “Tosin” Oduwole failed to appear, a security guard charged in a noise violation at the property pleaded guilty, according to court records. The guard will cooperate with prosecutors in the cases against Olduwole, according to City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit, who was among several local residents who attended and offered victim impact statements.
“We want people to know in a neighborhood, you need to do residential activity,” Matzigkeit said in a phone interview afterward. “That’s all we’re trying to do, is get our neighborhood back.”
Oduwole previously told the Reporter that at least some of the charges were unfounded. He later demanded that the Reporter cease writing anything about him.
Formerly owned by star musician Kenny Rogers, the mansion drew the city’s attention last year for a string of massive parties, which ended late in the year with a $1,000 zoning violation fine imposed upon a woman who claimed to be the property’s new owner. However, Oduwole began advertising the mansion for event rentals again this year and parties resumed this summer, leading to a new series of citations.
According to court records, Oduwole faces a variety of citations alleging disorderly conduction, violations of zoning code and the noise ordinance, and interfering with or damaging city water system devices. The city water to the mansion is shut off for nonpayment of bills, according to Matzigkeit. The city Department of Watershed Management did not have immediate comment.
Oduwole was scheduled go to trial Oct. 21 on some of those citations, but failed to appear. A judge issued a bench warrant for Oduwole, meaning that authorities can arrest him and force him to appear in court.
Security guard Clifton Lacour was fined $1,000 and put on probation on the condition he cooperates with prosecutors, according to court records and Matzigkeit.
The city has filed a complaint in Fulton County Superior Court alleging the mansion is a “nuisance,” said Matzigkeit. The complaint seeks a temporary restraining order to prevent the next publicized event, which Matzigkeit described as a “bridal show.”
Still in the works is legislation tightening restrictions on “party houses,” which has been promoted by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Matzigkeit.
Matzigkeit and other officials have said that they believe large commercial parties are illegal in residential areas under zoning, which prohibits many commercial uses in areas zoned for single-family residential. But lack of legal definitions in the code clearly have been among the issues complicating official response, and one the new legislation seeks to fix.
Matzigkeit said he is also working on state legislation to allow city courts to fine defendants more than the current cap of $1,000 for repeat convictions.