Roswell’s Chicken Man sentenced

Probation revoked after failing to perform community service



ROSWELL, Ga. – The run-ins Andrew Wordes has had with Roswell civil authorities has earned him the nickname of Chicken Man and provided some tongue-in-cheek news coverage, but it turned quite serious when he his probation was revoked Aug. 10 by Municipal Court Judge Maurice Hilliard.

Wordes will have to serve the remainder of his sentence, 99 days in the Roswell city jail.

He first gained notoriety in 2009 fighting city ordinances that would not allow him to continue raising chickens, turkeys and other fowl on his property. Represented by former Gov. Roy Barnes, Wordes won the right to keep his chickens.

A subsequent city ordinance to limit Wordes’ fowl was thrown out by Judge Hilliard when the judge ruled he was grandfathered in. But then Wordes began to run afoul of the law on other fronts. He was stopped by police coming home from a Roswell City Council meeting in December 2009 for a traffic violation and driving on a suspended license.

In 2010, he was cited for a nuisance by city code enforcers for having seven or eight inoperable automobiles on his property, apparently with the intent to repair them and sell them. Then Wordes fell afoul of the sediment and erosion ordinances when he did some grading on the property that city authorities said damaged a nearby stream.

Wordes pleaded guilty, had the cars removed and the property repaired. As part of a plea agreement, Wordes agreed to one year’s probation. He was fined $2,000, but was allowed to do 180 hours of community service instead.

City Solicitor Krista Young said Wordes was in court last week for failure to make the required efforts for community service.

“He also failed to report to the probation office in June or July, as well as not performing community service,” Young said.

Wordes had long maintained he was the subject of a vendetta by the city. When his violations caused liens to be placed against his property, the city notified the holder of his mortgage. That mortgage has been sold and the new holder, a self-directed IRA, has filed for foreclosure of the property.

At court Aug. 10, Hilliard found Wordes in violation of his probation agreement.

“The court has been more than merciful, but orders were not completed,” Hilliard said. “If no sanctions are invoked, then our ordinances are toothless.”

The judge sentenced him to serve the remainder of his term in jail, a period of 99 days. He will be out Nov. 17. But he will likely be homeless when he is set free.

What has become of his animals, many of which are his pets, is not known. Assistant City Attorney Robert Hulsey did say that on the evening of Wordes’ sentencing, the animals on the property had been removed by his friends.

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