Despite Assertions, Bonser Denies She Leaked City info to Family Friend
Bonnie Brucker released a letter recently that says she discussed confidential information about a city property deal with Councilwoman Adrian Bonser prior to Bonser's vacation. Bonser speculates Brucker may have snooped through files.
Speculation about who leaked information about a major Dunwoody redevelopment deal has raged for months.
In a March investigative report, written by former DeKalb DA Bob Wilson, it named former City Attorney Brian Anderson and Councilwoman Adrian Bonser as the leakers.
Well, things just got more complicated - or more simple?
Bonnie Brucker, a former house sitter for Bonser, has come forward with a letter (attached to this article) that claims Bonser discussed details of the confidential "Project Renaissance" property deal at Bonser's home.
Brucker claims the conversation came the night after a Feb. 3 executive council session where the deal was discussed. Brucker writes she had no real idea what she was getting herself involved in.
"For nearly six months, I have remained silent, but I am no longer willing to continue to do so," Brucker wrote. "It has become evident that unless I come forward, this situation will continue to drain the city coffers," she wrote.
Brucker goes on to say that Bonser, unsolicited, talked about the city property deal, the involvement of John Wieland Homes in the development and the "general price range" of the homes.
The apparent leak could have ended there. However, Brucker ran into political observer Bob Lundsten in February at a Phillips 66 gas station he frequents, he said. "We literally ran into each other at the gas station," he said.
Brucker then told Lundsten of the conversation with Bonser. He then asked her if the information was from a city executive session. Lundsten, the Chief of Staff for County Commissioner Elaine Boyer, said it was a breach of executive session confidentiality and a serious issue.
The rest of the story has been pretty well documented - and it became a firestorm
Lundsten reported on his "Duwnoody Farmer Bob" blog regarding information about the Wieland deal, the potential property sale and even price points of the various homes planned in the development. He relayed this information in a blog post entitled "Loose Lips Sink Ships." in February.
Blog posts on the leak started a city firestorm, as it became obvious there was a leaker. That violated city's ethics code, state law and could have jeopardized a city development deal.
Lundsten, for his part, said he felt caught in the crossfire in one of the most divisive city issues to date. Lundsten said his blog became the focus of the issue, not the leak, and that seemed to be a distration for the real issues at hand.
"Really the focus got put on me because I was the one that broke the story on my blog," Lundsten said.
Caught in the crossfire?
Lundsten says that Brucker became wrapped up in controversy she could not predict. Brucker is president of her condo homeowner’s association, an avid supporter of the Dunwoody PD, attends council meetings and participated in the adult police academy.
But she's no political operative. "You know, she lives in Dunwoody and has no role in any of this stuff," Lundtesn said.
Lundsten laid out his role in spreading the confidential information about the city leaks. Days after the leak, Lundsten posted the information from Rep. Tom Taylor's office on Lundsten personal computer to his blog, he said.
Legal demands, including defamatory statements
Things turned legal quickly in the last few days. Bonser's attorney, Matt Reeves, sent a letter to Lundsten Aug. 2 or 3 that demanded Lundsten name his source in the investigation or acknowledge there was no source.
"My non-response was to be an admission that there was no source," Lundsten said. Lundsten was also threatened with making defamatory statements, he said. The letter did not just limit the defamatory claims to Lundsten's personal assets - it also included potential liability as a county employee, he said.
Does Bonser trust a friend she would have housesit her home?
Maybe the strangest assertion made by Bonser's attorney is that it was speculated that Brucker may have rifled through confidential documents in Bonser's home while she was house sitting in February, which Bonser's camp claims could have revealed the secret Georgetown property deal.
Bonser, entrusted her house to Brucker while she was in New Zealand on a cruise with her husband. Brian Bonser, Adrian Bonser's husband, denied that Brucker discussed confidential information while they prepared for their trip and the house-sitting duties.
Lundsten questioned Brian Bonser's motivation.
"Does it surprise anyone? It comes as no surprise that the only collaborating source is her husband. It's not shocking and not surprising", Lundsten said
Lundsten also questioned Bonser outing Brucker and questioning her friend's integrity.
"Adrian's unfounded accusations are out in the public realm. Which is despicable and shouldn't be in the public realm," Lundsten said.