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Bonser aims at ethics board in advance of meeting - Dunwoody Crier: News

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Bonser aims at ethics board in advance of meeting

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Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 10:30 am

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.

© 2015 Dunwoody Crier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • jim posted at 1:11 pm on Sun, Jul 15, 2012.

    jim Posts: 32

    Unfortunately Ricky Bobby, everyone is subject to surveillance in many forms when they are outside of their personal residence and not in a bathroom. I'm not a fan of constant surveillance either. However, if you feel intimidation tactics are used, you too could file an ethics complaint as the Ethics Board is charged to answer complaints from any person against a public servant as long as they are not frivilous (completely lacking in merit or cause). Bake and Shake! (Aren't they out of business?)

  • Ricky Bobby posted at 4:18 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    Ricky Bobby Posts: 8

    The fact that Mr. Bonser was there, taking pictures of the BOE members, as well as citizens that attended can only be interpreted as an attempt to intimidate! I guess those that attended are off Adrian's Chanukah card list. Shameful behavior at the worst, or poor judgment in the least, which seems to run in the Bonser household.

  • Robert Moses posted at 12:50 pm on Wed, Jul 11, 2012.

    Robert Moses Posts: 34

    The Board of Ethics ignored Bonser's request to not hire attorney Richard Carothers. Carothers went on to tell the Board they could throw out clearly frivolous accusations (Bonser's revenge based charges fit this definition) without going to the time and expense of holding a formal hearing. I expect the Ethics Board will also ignore Bonser's request to drop all investigation of her and instead look into her conspiracy theory. She did not bother to show up for yesterday's hearing. I'm giving ten to one odds that the City Council never approves Bonser's request that the city pay for the mouthpiece she decided to use: R. Matthew Reeves.

  • Max posted at 8:23 am on Wed, Jul 11, 2012.

    Max Posts: 42

    I was off-put to see my name first on Mr. Brian Bonser's notebook during last night's Ethics Board meeting. I quipped, "I hope that is a Christmas List, Brian," but frankly I find this action is both distasteful and indiscreet. Small potatoes, I am glad I am not in front of this Ethics Board!

    Our City founders selected an Ethics Board that is composed of serious citizens who appeared confident, thoughtful, and cost-conscious. The Ethics Board must analyze evidence based on the Rules of Evidence used in State Court, representing a higher standard typical of such Boards, according to my notes. Thus, the potential need a Hearing Officer may be helpful to expedite the process and provide an objective outcome.

    This fact will become extremely important as the case moves forward.

  • jim posted at 9:17 pm on Tue, Jul 10, 2012.

    jim Posts: 32

    Just a few more miles to go Adrian. Sounds like the Wilson report will have trouble even making into evidence as no one paid attention to the ethics ordinance which calls for utilization of GA rules of evidence which precludes hearsay and inappropriately garnered items, etc. Also sounds like the Ethics Board has good counsel and their heads screwed on straight. Maybe you and the other counsel members can just call it off and not pursue your respective claims (feel yours is stronger anyway) and get back down to our cities business and stop funding Lawyer, Inc. Best wishes in putting your undeserved public pillarization behind you.


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