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City Attorney Signs Off on Ethics Complaint

The city's attorney says the complaint was filed properly and has "factual allegations."

Dunwoody's city attorney's office has ruled the ethics complaint filed in May against Councilwoman Adrian Bonser is valid, clearing the way for the complaint to be heard by the city's ethics board.

All members of the city council signed the . It alleges she leaked confidential information about the city's "Project Renaissance" land redevelopment.

The attorney's office had 30 days from when the complaint was filed May 29 to offer an analysis on its merits. Cecil McLendon, in his role as acting city attorney, filed it with the city clerk's office Friday afternoon before the deadline.

The analysis outlines the standard for sending the complaint to the city's ethics board, but McLendon said he was not weighing in on the matter. 

"The city attorney's office does not venture an opinion, nor does it determine, the substantive efficacy of the allegations against the accused," states the document.

Riley McLendon LLC is the city's attorney on retainer and has been serving as the city's chief legal counsel since former .

Anderson's termination came after an independent investigation was conducted to find who leaked confidential city information from council executive sessions about "Project Renassiance."

The investigation, headed by former DeKalb District Attorney Bob Wilson, named Anderson and Bonser as the source of the leaks.

Wilson's investigation contains a copy of an e-mail alleged to have been sent by Bonser to constituents which discusses the property deal. Bob Lundsten, DeKalb Commissoner Elaine Boyer's chief of staff, also told Wilson during the investigation that he received inside information from an unnamed third party who had talked to Bonser about the complex property deal. Lundsten than published the information on his blog. 

Bonser, meanwhile, and has filed a separate ethics complaint against city council members, City Manager Warren Hutmacher and Anderson. says the city called an unlawful executive session surrounding the "Project Renaissance" redevelopment and met without calling a meeting to sign the ethics complaint against her. 

McLendon's analysis says that the ethics complaint against Bonser was properly filed. It also says that it's a violation under the city's code for council members to "intentionally disclos(e)" information about an executive session without formal authorization of the council, and for "intentionally violating" any of the city's charter outlining conduct for a public official.

"For these two allegations the alleged facts are the same - that Councilwoman Bonser disclosed confidential information from closed executive sessions of the city council," according to the analysis.

The analysis also concludes that there are "factual allegations of the conduct alleged to be a violation of these sections," but offers no further explanation of the statement. The analysis then says that the complaint can be forwarded to the city's ethics board for any further investigation.

Milton Friedman June 30, 2012 at 02:29 AM
The public should know that when the Ethics Board meets to review and consider the complaints, both against Ms. Bonser, and her counter complaints against all of Council, the Mayor, the City Manager and the former City attorney, that the public can attend these meetings. You can check the City's web-site for postings as to when these meetings will occur.

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