Ethics Board Puts Brakes on Complaint Hearing

A number of procedural issues need to be handled before a complaint against Councilwoman Adrian Bonser or her counter-complaint against city council members could be heard.

The ethics board was scheduled Tuesday to discuss a complaint that Councilwoman Adrian Bonser leaked confidential information from city executive sessions.

The board was also set to discuss a counter complaint from Bonser that the rest of the city council members called an unauthorized executive session from which she is alleged to have leaked information from. 

It discussed neither.

The ethics board put the brakes on handling the substantive parts of the complaints, while they began to set up the process for how they could eventually be heard.

First, the board will need to adopt specific bylaws for the board to follow. The board had requested a set of rules in 2010, but the document was never finalized by then-city attorney Brian Anderson, according to the Tuesday discussion.

The ethics board also discussed hiring a hearing officer that could run a hearing and allow the ethics board to hear evidence and make judgements in the case.

Meanwhile, the ethics board did approve the hire of independent attorney Richard Carothers to lead it through the process.

Last week, Bonser sent out a letter through her attorney that called for Carothers to recuse himself because he had been tainted by contact with the City Manager Warren Hutmacher, who is named in Bonser's counter-complaint.

Carothers was approved by unanimous vote.

The ethics board also talked about combining the complaint against Bonser with her complaint against the rest of the city council in any hearing process.  

An ethics hearing, which the board could dismiss, will likely start later than was first expected - which was the first week in August.


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