City court judge to go on trial in October over loud house party allegations




  • In US
  • 2022-08-18 22:54:58Z
  • By WSB Cox articles
 

Channel 2 Action News has learned that an Atlanta city judge goes on trial in October on a charge of violating the city's noise ordinance at a Buckhead party that infuriated neighbors.

This is just the latest event in a contentious three years for Judge Terrinee Gundy. Gundy has been facing state ethics charges since 2019.

Channel 2 Action News broke the story of the investigation by the Judicial Qualifications Commission in 2017. Those charges are still unresolved, but there are hints in some court records that a deal is in the works.

The local case against Gundy is set for Oct. 7 in the courthouse where Gundy works as a Municipal Court judge.

The charge is relatively minor, but her arrangements for the party that lead to the noise charge raise the prospect of another ethical issue.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher used the state open records law to obtain APD bodycam video of the Dec. 4, 2021, party that got the judge in trouble.

Gundy hired a marching band for the event, and you can clearly hear the band playing outside the Roxboro Road home near Lenox Square when the police officer arrived to investigate the noise complaint.

On bodycam video, you can hear the officer describe the scene as "loud as hell."

Two unhappy neighbors told the officer: "This is absolutely ridiculous. I've got children trying to sleep. Ya'll need to lock their (bleep) up!!"

That officer arrived at about 9:20 p.m. on a Saturday.

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Channel 2 Action News confirmed that Gundy's good friend, former Mayor Kasim Reed, attended the party, but he is not visible in the video.

Reed was not charged and is not named in the police report. Reed appointed Gundy to the city court in 2015.

When Gundy came out of the house, the video captures the officer asking her: "How did you go about booking this space?"

The judge responded: "I just borrowed it from one of my friends. So I didn't actually pay a fee or anything."

Zillow estimates the party house at 3511 Roxboro Road is worth about $1.8 million. A realtor who had listed the house for sale earlier this year told Channel 2 Action News it rents for $10,000 to $15,000 per night.

The judicial code of conduct has strict limitations on judges accepting gifts.

The judge has been facing several charges of violating the state's judicial code of conduct since 2019.

Amended earlier this year, the charges include habitual tardiness, excessive absenteeism and failure to hold hearings which resulted in jail inmates being detained improperly.

References on the docket of the state supreme court suggest she and the JQC have tried twice this year to work out a deal on disciplinary action.

The docket shows references to "Discipline by Consent" on March 16, 2022, and July 25, 2022. But we don't have access to details of the proposed deals. The Georgia Supreme Court has the final say on disciplinary actions against judges.

JQC Director Chuck Boring declined comment on the possibility of a deal with Judge Gundy.

Her attorney, Gabe Banks, did not provide a statement for our story.

For her trial on the noise ordinance charge, a visiting judge and visiting prosecutor will handle the case to avoid any conflict of interest in the court where Gundy sits.

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