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Dunwoody Ethics Complaints Dismissed

Bonser issues an apology as part of the settlement agreement for disclosing priviliged information in an e-mail to a constituent.

An agreement has been reached to dismiss ethics charges that started with allegations that Councilwoman Adrian Bonser leaked priviliged information about a city property deal.

The situation escalated when Bonser brought counter ethics complaints Mayor Mike Davis, who Bonser accused of harrasing her by asking her to step down from her position after the alleged ethics transgresson.

The city sent out the settlement agreement Monday that insulates Bonser and Davis from further action. The agreement was signed by the City Council and Bonser for a "mutual dismissal."

As part of the agreement, Bonser issued an apology. Specifically, she acknowledged that she shouldn't have divulged privileged information in an email about the city's Project Renaissance development, which had been discussed in a February executive session.

"I now understand that some of the infomation in my e-mail should not have been included," she said in her statement. "I apologize to the mayor and council and citizens of Dunwoody."

Since the probe, Bonser alleged that Davis harrassed her by asking her to step down from her post, and she filed an ethics complaint against him. Davis, as part of the settlement, issued no apology.

He did issue a formal statement - saying that the lengthy ethics probe has stopped confidential leaks and elicited "contrition" from Bonser.

"After nine months of public discussions, discovery and exploration I am happy to say the matter has concluded. I am grateful to announce the City and its residents have received a full admission, a  statement of contrition, and apology on this matter, " he said.

It's not clear the final price of the ethics matter. The city spent close to $50,000 on an investigation that named Bonser and former city attorney Brian Anderson as the leaks. Anderson resigned under pressure for his role in the leaks.

The city then convened the Ethics Board, who hired outside counsel to advise them for several months. The city has not released how much was paid to the attorney.

The city ethics board held a preliminary hearing on the issue and it was sent to mediation before a formal hearing.

A hearing was scheduled earlier this month. Bonser didn't attend, saying she had not received formal notice of such a hearing. That hearing was rescheduled for Dec. 16. The city sent out news of the settlement agreement mid-day Monday.

Check back to Dunwoody Patch for updates. To read the settlement agreement and Davis' statement in full, click on the attached documents.

jimmie December 04, 2012 at 04:23 AM
kudos to the good DR for standing up to the good ole boy heat!!
Rob December 04, 2012 at 02:36 PM
WOW.. 1 real post, 5 troll posts. How about a poem????
Michael Caldwell December 04, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Glad it's over. It was a tempest in a teapot from the beginning, but it cost us $100,000. These are the unfortunate growing pains of a new City learning to govern itself. The principles underlying Government in the Sunshine laws (Open Meetings and Open Records Acts) always are in tension against the rules governing disclosures of what has been said in "executive sessions" of governing bodies; it's difficult for officials to determine exactly where the line should be drawn. We should give both sides a break on incurring the costs of this unfortunate lesson (at least this time).
jimmie December 04, 2012 at 04:11 PM
5 good posts...one from a disturbed ???
Enuff Govt Already December 04, 2012 at 09:11 PM
It was entertaining while it lasted.

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