ATLANTA (AJC)-Fulton County Superior Court Judge Craig Schwall on Friday ordered the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless to hand over control of its controversial Midtown shelter to the United Way this month. Schwall also ordered the United Way to handle operation until the 600-men shelter closes in six months.

Schwall said he had protected the task force from eviction for nearly two years by stopping  the new owner from removing the occupants of the building at the corner of Peachtree and  Pine streets.

The judge made it clear that politics of the task force’s founders, Anita and Jim Beaty, made him doubt their sincerity. Anita Beaty, the executive director of the task force, allowed Occupy Atlanta to meet at the shelter, which the judge called a “political statement.” He also complained the Beatys were paid a total of $100,000 from a separate company for their work for the homeless — implying that was their motivation.

“You got the United Way that has a lot of resources coming into court and saying  ‘We will take care of them,'” Schwall said. “If your clients are really interested in the homeless rather than Occupy Atlanta and their $50,000 salaries” they will hand over the shelter to the United Way.

He gave the Beatys until noon on Feb. 15 to vacate the property and ordered the shelter closed by Aug. 31. Schwall said he planned to hold the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta accountable to find housing for all of the men.

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