Ohlone College Trustee Bob Brunton did something very unusual in my interview with him Thursday. He told me I misquoted him previously in this blog, but then in trying to straighten the record, he twice said something that seems less defensible than his initial statement.
When I asked him in August about why John Dutra wanted him off the board, he said it was because he voted against selling the frontage property, which Dutra wanted to buy. Here’s what I wrote:
About an hour later, Brunton called the paper to let us know his schedule for the campaign season. I told him about Dutra’s quotes. Brunton said Dutra didn’t like him because he cast one of the two decisive votes opposing the Dutras development plans for the Ohlone frontage property.
I wasn’t clear from Brunton if he was saying the Dutras wanted to develop the entire property or just a portion of it. Dutra Enterprises does own property adjacent to the Ohlone parcel.
That set off the Dutra family, whose company recently passed a legal resolution stating that they no longer have any interest in the property whatsoever.
I didn’t know about that Thursday morning when I went to Brunton’s Fremont house for a candidate interview. He told me that I got it all wrong in the blog, even if I had heard him correctly on the phone.
“They are very angry at me,” Brunton said of the Dutras. “I have great respect and admiration for them. They have never expressed interest to me in buying that property.” A few minutes later, for good measure, he again said, “I never heard from the Dutras that they were interested in that property.”
Problem is the Dutras did offer to buy a portion of the frontage property, and they were part of a team of developers that made a separate bid for all of it. Trustee Bill McMillin says he still has the paperwork as does John Dutra, himself.
“Brunton is not telling the truth,” Dutra said. “He was part of the board when we made submittals. We sent a very clear letter of intent that laid out terms in which we would purchase that property. We made an offer and Bob knows that.”
Dutra said his opposition to Brunton has nothing to do with his vote against selling the frontage property.