This was posted on Friday, November 18, 2016 by Rodney Ho on AJC's Radio & TV Talk blog
"Real Housewives of Atlanta" cast member Sheree Whitfield was fined Friday by Sandy Springs $1,000 for not getting the proper permits for a major housewarming party taped for the popular reality show last month.
She accepted the fine as part of a plea deal with the solicitor. Whitfield, who was on the show full time from 2008 to 2012 and returned last year, will also be under unsupervised probation by the city for 18 months to ensure she files for proper permitting in the future.
David Good, a neighbor of Whitfield's, showed up at the hearing Friday morning. He had called the cops October 28 when dozens of cars showed up on his cul de sac behind Whitfield's home and created a traffic nuisance. Good said people parked cars on neighbor's lawns and blocked the street. He said the show installed a big spotlight that wasn't allowed either.
"It was an invasion," he said. "An absolute invasion."
Whitfield also didn't have a certificate of occupancy.
The production company True Entertainment, which creates "Real Housewives" for Bravo, was too fined $1,000 for not providing proper permits, security or parking. Joye Chin , who oversees production, declined to comment. The $1,000 also included $500 for a June 23 event at Kenya Moore's nearby house that also didn't have proper permits. Moore's housewarming party was aired two weeks ago on Bravo as part of the season 9 debut.
The Whitfield party taped last month will air later this season.
The "battle of the houses" between the two women has been a major story line this season, with the two ladies betting who would finish their home first. Whitfield began building her home from scratch in 2012. Moore purchased a home nearby in 2015 and has spent more than a year fixing it up.
Moore was cited for failing to appear in court this morning for her case but she called in at 9:30 a.m.. They rescheduled her hearing for December 2.
After the hearing, Whitfield deflected blame when speaking to Channel 2 Action News. "If there were cars on the lawn, they weren't my guests. I provided shuttles."
Her neighbor Good scoffed when she insisted she was a "good neighbor."
"Ridiculous," Good said. "Absolute bunk."
He said the city over the years has given her wide latitude concerning the slow build out of her home, that there were plenty of reported code violations at her property. The party was "the straw that broke the camel's back." And whatever shuttles he provided, he said, were clearly inadequate for the volume of partygoers and crew involved.
Michael Petchenik, a Channel 2 Action News reporter who broke the story, received this emailed response from Sandy Springs regarding the property: "Code Enforcement has cited the property owner on several occasions, and today was not her first court appearance."
During the hearing, Sandy Springs Municipal Judge Candiss Howard asked Whitfield in the future to "take extra steps not to interfere with [neighbors'] privacy. Provide security to deal with paparazzi and traffic control."
She also told Chin of True Entertainment: "Be very cognizant of the needs of the neighbors. Take extra steps with security and parking. Keep people from walking across other people's property."
"I think she was a little overboard," Whitfield said after the hearing, referencing Howard's admonitions.