Gwinnett commissioner returns from heart attack, greeted by protesters

On Tuesday afternoon, Gwinnett County Commissioner Tommy Hunter attended his first meeting since a late December heart attack — and he was greeted by a familiar sight. 

A small band of protesters. 

It has been more than a year since Hunter, who suffered a heart attack on Dec. 30, used his personal Facebook page to call civil rights hero and U.S. Rep. John Lewis a "racist pig." Protesters calling for his resignation have come and gone in the months since, so it was no surprise to see them at Tuesday afternoon’s meeting. 

In a new twist, they placed flyers calling Hunter an “embarrassment” next to the commission’s meeting agendas. The flyers also focused on a recent report from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Hunter had threatened to sue his commission colleagues for $5 million over his reprimand in the “racist pig” saga.

As Hunter was providing an update on his status, the half dozen or so protesters walked out of the auditorium carrying signs. 

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“Hunter wants $5 mil to spew racism," one sign said in all caps.

Hunter said he was feeling better and thanked his friends and colleagues for checking on him.

“It's still a challenge, so I dont know how long it's gonna be before I’m full go getting back to all the meetings, but hopefully that starts today,” he said.

A few of the protesters returned to the commission meeting after staging their “walk-out” but they did not speak during the public comment period.


The AJC's Tyler Estep keeps you updated on the latest happenings in Gwinnett County government and politics. You'll find more on, including these stories:

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