Gwinnett County commissioner Tommy Hunter is now suing the Ethics Board, shortly before they found him in violation of the county’s ethics code.
Hunter got into hot water earlier this year when he called Congressman John Lewis a “racist pig,” and described Democrats as “demonrats” and “libtards.”
A dedicated group went to every, single commissioners meeting to protest his statements and pressure him to resign for making blatantly racist comments. Ultimately an ethics violation was filed by Atlanta resident Nancie Hunter, and a panel convened to investigate. Hunter largely refused to participate in the process, and the Ethics Board found him in violation of the county’s ethics policies. They cannot remove him from office, he will only be served a public reprimand.
In response, Hunter is suing the Gwinnett County Board of Ethics.
Christine Koehler, the lawyer for Nancie Hunter, shared a letter with Better Georgia from Tommy Hunter’s lawyer, Dwight L. Thomas. The letter includes some pretty outlandish, inappropriate statements comparing the investigation to a lynch mob, calling it a “political lynching” and a “star chambered kangaroo posse hanging.”
Hunter has always maintained that the ethics investigation is unconstitutional, but his lawyer’s letter reflects a sense of being persecuted that is completely out of proportion with what is going on, and wholly disturbing. (Scroll to the bottom to read excerpts from the letter, but be warned it’s pretty disgusting).
“The ethics ordinance needs to be taken seriously, and it applies to the leadership of the county, all the way down to rank-and-file employees. It’s critically important that message is upheld,” said Charles Rousseau, vice chairman of the Ethics Board, according to WABE.
Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners is made up of one at-large chair (elected county wide) and four commissioners. Currently, all the members are Republicans. Hunter’s district covers the eastern portion of the county, including Snellville, Loganville, Grayson, Dacula, Auburn and Braselton. Hunter was elected in November of 2012 and was just reelected last year. Anyone who is a citizen of Georgia and resident of the district, and not currently serving in any other office, can run for county commission.
And while Hunter cannot be replaced until he resigns or if he is outed and replaced during the 2020 election, the commissioners from districts two and four will be up for re-election in 2018. If you or someone you know may be interested in running for office, reach out to your favorite local civics organization to find out about candidate trainings in your area.
Excerpt from letter Tommy Hunter’s lawyer, Dwight L. Thomas, sent to Judge Melodie Conner, dated May 31, 2017:
Those pleadings [motion for injunctive relief and prerogative writs] were filed in an effort to stop the “political lynching” of my client to punish his protected political speech. The Mob, masquerading as an Ethics Board, was able to get a rope around my client’s neck and put him on the saddle. However the hangman has not given the signal to spank the horse so my client can be politically lynched. My client turned to the Court System seeking emergency relief but justice was hiding somewhere in the bushes not willing to step forward and stop the hanging.