Chipka, a resident of District 2, filed the ethics complaint against Bonser based on three counts: failing to investigate allegations of corruption and cover-ups within the city’s police department, abandonment of her obligations to serve her district constituents while pursuing other personal interests and accepting compensation from the city, and threatening and abusive behavior toward a member of the public while in the course of her duties.
Jennifer Keaton, Esq., of One Mediation, was the hearing officer and focused the meeting on Count 3 regarding the threatening and abusive behavior.
On Feb. 9, 2011, Chipka was involved in a motor vehicle incident with another driver along Mount Vernon Highway, which carried over into the Orchard Park Kroger plaza. Chipka’s complaint against Bonser arises from his claim the councilwoman did not look into his case. He said he believed there to be some malfeasance within the Dunwoody Police Department regarding his case, in which he was charged with aggressive driving.
The point of last week’s ethics hearing was a result of several email exchanges between Chipka and Bonser that began after the incident in 2011. After numerous emails back and forth, Chipka’s main complaint is that a July 3, 2012 email from Bonser was threatening in nature.
In the email Bonser responds to Chipka by saying “This is the last time I will respond to your harassing emails. You are ruminating on an issue in your life that I am not able to help you with. I suggest you seek help from a qualified therapist or, your pastor.”
The other part of contention regarding the email was Bonser stating “…I will not read or respond to another email from you even if your house is on fire. You have lost that privilege.”
“The abusive part is saying she won’t take any more emails if my house is on fire,” said Chipka. “That to me is very abusive and I don’t feel comfortable in this community.”
In her defense, Bonser said she felt she was being kind in suggesting Chipka seek assistance from a therapist or pastor.
“For two years this had been going on and he sent emails to me, the police chief, other staff and I made the suggestion he talk to somebody,” said Bonser. “I was trying to be kind.”
Both Chipka and Bonser stated their sides, and gave final statements with the board concluding to mull over their findings in regards to Count 3. The board will meet again to hear Counts 1 and 2 — that meeting has yet to be announced.
The next meeting of the Dunwoody Ethics Board will be June 12 at 9:30 a.m. at city hall, 41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 103 in Dunwoody.