Gwinnett commissioner’s lawyer to judge: ‘Stop the hanging’

On the AJC's subscription site,  our colleague Tyler Estep has filed the latest on the saga of the Gwinnett County commissioner who called U.S. Rep. John Lewis a “racist pig” on Facebook. A taste:

After a sometimes confusing and often contentious Wednesday morning hearing, the Gwinnett County ethics board reached a decision in the case of Commissioner Tommy Hunter — but it’s not saying just yet what that decision is.

And thanks to a newly filed lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ethics board’s existence, it might not matter in the long run anyway.

That, of course, is the goal for the Hunter team. Even with “public reprimand” being the stiffest penalty he could face, the commissioner’s camp remains as defiant as ever.

“Just to clarify, these people are still protesting and holding hearings because someone posted a comment on Facebook about a politician?” Hunter spokesman Seth Weathers, said after Wednesday’s hearing, which he did not attend. “Imagine what they could accomplish if they applied themselves to something useful.”

But something else happened Wednesday, too. Hunter’s attorney, Dwight L. Thomas, filed a most colorful letter to Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Melody Snell Connor, requesting injunctive relief.

“I humbly await your response and look forward to my client’s day in a real court of law and not a star chambered kangaroo posse hanging,” Thomas writes.

Below is the entire letter, emphasis ours:

Tin ears are again at work here. As a metaphor, Hunter's attorney has latched onto the Western motif of lynching. Think back to  "The Ox-Bow Incident," the novella you read in high school.

But this is the South, where lynching was never about cattle rustling, and still isn't.  From today's Washington Post:

A noose was found Wednesday in a public gallery at the National Museum of African American History and Culture museum, the second such incident on Smithsonian grounds in less than a week, officials said.


David J. Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, said in an email announcement that he had to share “deeply disturbing news” that the rope was found in an public exhibition space Wednesday afternoon. It was in the Segregation Gallery on the second floor of the history galleries.

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About the Author

Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.