In the Dunwoody ethics brouhaha that won’t go away, City Councilor Adrian Bonser has asked the attorney hired by the Board of Ethics to recuse himself because he was vetted by City Manager Warren Hutmacher, himself the target of an ethics complaint by Bonser.
In a letter from her attorney, R. Matthew Reeves, to the ethics board attorney, Richard Carothers, Bonser also wants the members of the Board of Ethics to recuse themselves and simply drop the case, saying that “the Board of Ethics is being misused by the complainants as a political tool against Dr. Bonser.”
Reeves contends the nature of the complaint against Bonser is essentially political rather than ethical.
Reeves outlined several avenues of defense of Bonser, even as he noted the letter was not her formal response to the ethics complaint.
Reeves contends that the complaint limits its scope to an alleged leak to blogger Bob Lundsten about the “purchase of land” by the city and an email from Bonser to a constitutent concerning the “purchase of land.”
On his blog, Lundsten never mentioned the purchase of land by the city, only the suggested sale of the 16 acres known colloquially as the “PVC farm.”
The city council later made public the end result of the executive sessions: A deal in which the city purchased 19 acres of former Emory Shallowford Hospital land and sold the PVC farm for re-development.
The council hired an investigator, former Democratic congressional candidate Bob Wilson, to look into the alleged leak to Lundsten and others.
In a probe that cost the city $48,828.66, Wilson failed to identify Lundsten’s source, while accusing Bonser.
“In addition to the confrontation/cross-examination problem this causes,” wrote Reeves, “it begs the question of whether this heretofore mystery persona exists at all, is someone who has a motive to lie about Dr. Bonser for political or other purposes.”
In an email to friends and supporters about her lawyer’s actions, Bonser was more blunt.
“For $50,000,” she wrote, “there is no information in the Bob Wilson report that establishes who, where, when, why, what or how? What was leaked? Who (sic) was it leaked to? When was it leaked? How was it leaked? Where was it leaked? Why was it leaked?
In the Wilson report, the matter of the legality of discussing land purchases or land sales was deemed moot. He said the purchase of the 19 acres and sale of the 16 acres were “inextricably linked.”
The Wilson report also accused then City Attorney Brian Anderson of leaking information to The Crier, an allegation denied by the newspaper. Anderson was dismissed by the city. At the same time, Mayor Mike Davis asked Bonser to resign.
Since then, the Board of Ethics has received the complaint against Bonser and her complaints against the mayor, city council and city manager.
The Board of Ethics was to meet Tuesday, after The Crier went to press.