Police called to party thrown by Atlanta judge at notorious rental home, records show

ATLANTA — An Atlanta city judge already facing a long list of state ethics charges was cited for hosting a loud party that infuriated neighbors.

The incident also raises new ethics questions about Judge Terrinee Gundy, whose career on the bench Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher has been following for nearly five years.

Gundy’s attorney says the party and the citation are a private matter, but neighbors in Buckhead tell us noise violations are a very public and very divisive issue in that community.

The trouble for Gundy began when she arranged for a marching band to play.

The police officer dispatched to the house on Roxboro Road near Lenox Square remarked it was “loud as hell.”

We know the state’s judicial watchdog is monitoring this case in which the judge received, in effect, a gift worth $5,000 to $10,000.

Channel 2 Action News used the state open records law to request the APD bodycam video of the Dec. 4.

During a break in the music, you can see unhappy neighbors arrive to complain to the first officer on the scene.

“This is absolutely ridiculous. I’ve got children trying to sleep. Ya’ll need to lock their ----- up,” one of them said.

With the music up, the officer explains the law to an adult woman attending the party.

RELATED STORIES:

“You know I’m damn near screaming at you. Imagine if you are trying to relax at home. You know what I’m saying?” the officer said.

Seconds later, Gundy joins the discussion with the officer -- perhaps an officer who has appeared in Gundy’s own courtroom at Atlanta’s Municipal Court. That’s where Channel 2 became familiar with the judge.

Channel 2 Action News started investigating Gundy’s attendance at work as well as her behavior with court employees in 2017 and broke the story of the state investigation.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission filed ethics charges against Gundy in 2019. A dozen charges are still pending.

Her role as a judge may become important because the code of judicial conduct has strict limitations about accepting gifts.

Gundy acknowledged to the officer that she did not pay for the use of the nearly $700,000 house.

“I just borrowed it from one of my friends, so I didn’t actually pay a fee or anything,” you can hear her tell the officer.

Belcher viewed the entire 54-minute video, and we did not see Gundy ask for any favors, but she did let the officer know her position: “I’m a city of Atlanta judge.”

She didn’t tell the officer there was a well-known guest in the house -- Gundy’s close friend, former Mayor Kasim Reed.

The judge isn’t the first and may not be the last to get in trouble at the site on Roxboro Road near Lenox Square.

Gundy’s part is apparently the first in a long list of events that have attracted police after a neighborhood complaint.

“It’s the house that we always get complaints about,” the officer said, but she acknowledges the judge’s event isn’t as rowdy as many at the site. “It’s usually hookah and weed, and they’re going crazy. But the neighborhood has had enough.”

An attorney for Gundy emailed Belcher, saying, “This is a private matter. Judge Gundy will not allow an important (family) milestone....to be used as fodder for another sensationalized news story... We respectfully request that you respect her family’s privacy.”

A real estate agent for the home said the owner would like to get it rezoned as a bed and breakfast. But for now, it’s available for parties for between $5,000 and $10,000 a night, depending on the size of the crowd.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission acknowledged only that it “is aware of the incident.”

RELATED STORIES: