What began as probably the most public brawl in Dunwoody's short history could be solved behind the closed doors of the conference rooms of Dunwoody's inauspicious City Hall.
In case you've been under a rock, Councilwoman Adrian Bonser has been very publically defending herself since the spring from charges that she leaked confidential city information related to the city's largest redevelopment project to date - "Project Renaissance."
The 35-acre project could be a signature redevelopment on the city's eastern gateway. Bonser was accused of talking about the project because she wanted to help undermine it, according to a May independent investigation commissioned by the city.
Fast forward to now. Every single city council member has had to defend themselves on ethics charges brought by Bonser. Each has been dismissed by the city's ethics board.
Save one. An important one. Mayor Mike Davis is accused of asking Bonser to step down, and in his words, save the city further embarrasment. She accuses him of bullying and threatening behavoir.
On to Tuesday. The two have agreed to a potential "alternative resolution dispute" that could save an ugly public political battle that could leave scars up and down city government.
Some marks will remain. Former City Attorney Brian Anderson, named as a leak like Bonser, was fired in the wake of the scandal.
But that's in the past. As far as what could happen from here? "I don't really feel in a position to speculate," Bob Mullen, city spokesman said. "I think the spectrum is wide open."
Well, there's little doubt that the mediation is a measurable step back from the uneasy brinksmanship that has marked the affair up to this point.
Earlier in the process, Bonser went on the attack against all of her fellow city council members, alleging that they called an unlawful executive session to discuss Project Renaissance and that they called a bum meeting when they convened to file a formal complaint against her.
Bonser's bare-knuckled mentality seems absent, for now. Norman Fletcher, a retired Supreme Court Judge, has been brought in to mediate, Mullen said. He served on the high court from 2001-2005.
The meetings are closed, although the exact state law governing the private nature of the meetings has not yet come to light.
"It's closed to the public; it's private," Mullen said.
The upshot? Well, first off a young city - at least for now - will not air any more of its dirty laundry. Maybe as important, it could short circuit the ethics board that was required to more-or-less determine guilt in the case through a quasi-judicial process for all to see.
Open formal hearings were going to get ugly, with lawyers gearing up on both sides. That, in turn, could have led the ethics board to recommend the city council remove Bonser from the board.
There's so many angles here, you couldn't figure out all the politics of the scenarios with Karl Rove or James Carville in the room.
Meanwhile, any successful mediation would bypass all those manuevers. It's not clear exactly what an "alternative resolution" could entail - board censure, a slap on the hand, etc. - but the stakes are clearly lower in mediation than with the ethics board wielding power.
For his part, Mullen said there is no predictable time frame for how long mediation could last. It's also no guarantee it will work.
It's an alternative that could be a solution. But lurking out there is a full, formal, legal hearing that could place political careers at stake. And lots of Dunwoody's money.