Atlanta’s ‘Phantom of the Fox’ to keep apartment for now, as he and landlord work on solution
By KATE BRUMBACK Associated Press
“Both sides are working together to work this thing out, and it’s my hope that they will be able to work it out,” Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter said.
Patten, 83, has lived in the apartment beneath the Fox’s onion-shaped dome since 1979, when he signed a lifelong lease. The board of trustees of the nonprofit Atlanta Landmarks, which runs the Fox, voted in August to terminate that lease. That meant Patten would have been required to leave by Dec. 1.
Patten’s lawyer Emmet Bondurant sued earlier this month seeking an injunction to keep Patten from having to vacate, plus punitive and compensatory damages and a jury trial.
The judge canceled a hearing in the matter Wednesday after he met with lawyers for both sides and the parties agreed to work out a solution.
Patten, who waited in a courtroom while the judge and lawyers met, was “tickled to death” after his lawyer explained that he would be allowed to stay.
“It’s wonderful. I was hoping it would turn out like this,” he said, a giant smile on his face. “That’s exactly what I wanted.”
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