Counwilwoman Adrian Bonser is calling for the dismissal of the ethics complaint against her, and says she might seek depositions from members of the city council and a city development partner to defend herself if an ethics hearing moves forward.
Bonser is alleged to have leaked information about the development of what is now know as "Project Rennaisance" a 35-acre redevelopment planned for Georgetown with John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods.
"While dismissal of the complaint is clearly warranted at this time, if the board precedes to a hearing, Dr. Bonser requests the opportunity to conduct discovery beforehand," according to a response filed with the city by her attorney.
"She would like to send a request for production of documents to City Manager (Warren) Hutmacher, Bob Lundsten, Bob Lundsten's alleged source when that person is revealed, Kerry de Vallete, Terry Nall and other council members and/or the Mayor, representatives of John Wieland Homes, and others; and depose most of these witnesses."
Bonser's response to the ethics complaint that she leaked confidential information from a Jan. 23 and Feb. 3 executive sessions was received by the city last week.
City officials, however, said that the document didn't have to be disclosed right away under the state's Open Records Act because it was related to an investgation of a public official.
The stance seems to run counter to the release of an investigative report prepared May 29 by Bob Wilson, former Dekalb County District Attorney, which alleges Bonser and former City Attorney Brian Anderson were the sources of the leak. The city also released the response of the acting city attorney to the ethics complaint against Bonser.
Meanwhile, Bonser sent her response to the ethics complaint to the Dunwoody Crier, according to an email she sent Tuesday to Dunwoody Patch along with a copy of the response - which is attached in full to this story.
Bonser's attorney makes key assertions in the response, including:
- E-mails she wrote to constituents that are alleged to discuss details of the property deal after it was made public on blogs and local news accounts is allowed under the city code regarding a public servant's right to "publically express their opinion on the effect of public actions."
- An e-mail from a blogger and city observer in February seemed to contain evidence of leaked information about the property deal but was not pursued by investigators.
- That the city investigators deemed that the council called a valid executive session to discuss the property deal, which contained discussion about the sale and purchase of property. Yet they report provided no legal basis for the opinion.
- Regardless of the validity of the executive session, that Bonser made no improper public disclosures of priviliged information.
- That she has requested public documents pertaining to the city's investigation and has not received them.
- The letter raises the issue of defamation, and asserts that the Bob Wilson investigation should have not been disclosed by the city until the ethics complaint moved forward, per the city's code.