Police called in during argument between public official, ballpark opponent; updates with Brunelle comment

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An unusual set of motions inside Boise’s City Council chambers over the Grove and a future ballpark may have been matched by events outside, with police officers called in.

An interaction between Capital City Development Corporation executive director John Brunelle and ballpark opponent and Concerned Taxpayers of Boise member Bill Illett became heated enough for a Boise Police officer to be called in for a report of a battery.

“When the officer arrived the two subjects were arguing,” Boise Police Department spokesperson Haley Williams said. “The officer spoke with the two subjects and began an investigation.”

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Williams said criminal charges were not filed, but “the officer will complete an informational report should there be a desire to pursue charges in the future.”

Williams did not elaborate further on the officer’s report, which has not yet been filed.

As I was working on the main story on the city council vote outside council chambers, Ilett approached Brunelle and the BPD officer told him the two needed “to stay apart.” The officer continued to question Brunelle about what happened.

The officer then approached Ilett and conferred with him.

Later, with the officer’s permission, Ilett approached Brunelle and they had a calm discussion for several moments.

When the meeting ended, the officer approached city councilors and the mayor and explained what happened, to reactions of wide-open mouths and shaking heads.

Brunelle declined comment at the time. Ilett said later by email “in my opinion it was not an incident,” but declined to comment further.

Update: A BoiseDev reader reminds us that Ilett and Brunelle were both involved in the Idaho Stampede. Ilett was lead investor and Brunelle was team president and a co-owner for the minor-pro basketball team in Boise.

Brunelle made this comment to BoiseDev Wednesday afternoon: 

“What happened to me while seated inside the Maryanne Jordan Council Chambers observing the Boise City Council meeting last night will be described in written detail to the Boise Police community policing unit and victim witness coordinator. I attended in my role as Executive Director of Capital City Development Corp, and it’s now my responsibility to tell the authorities what happened to me, and, from there, trust the process.”

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