The operator of controversial commercial events and parties at a Buckhead mansion pleaded guilty to several code violations in city court Dec. 13 and was hit with a $7,500 fine and a 30-day jail sentence.
Combined with a separate court order banning commercial events at the 4499 Garmon Road mansion, City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit the sentence for Olutosin “Tosin” Oduwole should spell the end of problems, at least for now.
“To me, the wheels of justice grind slowly, but they worked today, and our neighborhood is going to get the peace and quiet it deserves,” said Matzigkeit on the day of Oduwole’s Atlanta Municipal Court trial, which the councilmember attended.
Attorney Ray Humphrey was appointed by the court to represent Oduwole.
“He apologized to the court for any issues or concern or stresses he caused the neighborhood,” said Humphrey in a phone interview from the Atlanta City Detention Center, where he was waiting to visit Oduwole in jail. “He acknowledged this had gone beyond where it should have gone.”
Online real estate listings show the mansion is for sale for $7.995 million. Humphrey said he understands the mansion went on the market about 20 days ago, and said Oduwole says he now lives in New Jersey. Humphrey said that information likely will come “to the delight of his neighbors, but that doesn’t make up for the last six months of residency there.”
Oduwole still faces a court ruling on charges related to interfering with water devices and unpaid water bills. Still at issue, Humphrey said, is what Oduwole is responsible for, because he was a tenant, not the owner, and the exact identity of the owners remains unclear. Regarding the water-related cases, Humphrey said, “I’m praying for a nominal fine – fingers crossed on that.”
Formerly owned by star musician Kenny Rogers, the mansion drew the city’s attention in 2018 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 became a tenant in June of this year began advertising the mansion for event rentals. Parties resumed this summer, leading to a new series of citations against Oduwole, security guards, a DJ and others.
The events generated significant controversy and led Matzigkeit and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to draft legislation to crack down on “party houses,” which is still working its way through the City Council process.
On Dec. 9, a Fulton County Superior Court judge granted the city’s request for a court order placing a permanent ban on commercial events at the mansion, though it remains unclear whether that will attach to other owners or operators.
When Oduwole went to trial on the water-related cases Dec. 13 before Chief Judge Christopher Portis, according to Humphrey, he had a total of 15 other city citations pending, of which seven were dismissed. Oduwole pleaded guilty to the remaining eight citations, Humphrey said.
Oduwole reported to the jail later that day to begin serving his sentence. He will have to pay a total of $10,527 when the base fine is combined with fees and surcharges, according to court spokesperson Tialer Maxwell.
A number of city department officials and local residents appeared to court to testify, Humphrey and Matzigkeit said.
“It’s an extraordinary case in Municipal Court to have something going on that long and have the city invest that much resources into it,” said Humphrey.
“It was a pretty stern closing that Judge Portis gave about enforcing the laws and making sure people know we would not put up with something [like that] in the city of Atlanta,” said Matzigkeit.
Humphrey said he does not know whether anyone else is living in the mansion at the moment. “The water’s shut off, that’s for sure,” he said.
Correction: A previous version of this story gave an incorrect amount of Oduwole’s base fine and court fees and surcharges.