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Gwinnett ethics board suggests public reprimand in ‘racist pig’ case

After nearly three hours of private deliberations, Gwinnett County’s ethics board voted Tuesday to sustain two parts of the three-prong ethics complaint against Commissioner Tommy Hunter — and for him to be publicly reprimanded.

Public reprimand was the stiffest possible penalty the board could recommend for Hunter, who has been under fire since calling U.S. Rep. John Lewis a “racist pig” on Facebook. Hunter’s colleagues on the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners have final say on any discipline imposed against him and could, in theory, choose to go a different direction.

MORE: Hunter’s attorney: Ethics board’s action a ‘political lynching’

MORE: Photos: 13 controversial Facebook posts from Gwinnett Commissioner Tommy Hunter

MORE: Suit over Gwinnett ethics board stalled

The BOC is scheduled to make its decision during a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. on June 20.

The ethics complaint against Hunter was filed Feb. 6, about three weeks after the Republican District 3 commissioner wrote his Facebook post about Lewis. The same post also referred to Democrats as “Demonrats” and a “bunch of idiots.”

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The ethics complaint, filed by an Atlanta woman named Nancie Turner, also referenced a handful of other inflammatory Facebook posts made on Hunter’s personal page. It argued that such posts violated tenets of Gwinnett County’s 2011 ethics ordinance, which is primarily intended to target conflicts of interest and public corruption.

The ordinance does, however, include more generic sections that do things like urge commissioners to “never engage in conduct which is unbecoming” their office.

Read more about Tuesday’s proceedings, what folks on both sides of the ethics complaint had to say and what the future might hold at myAJC.com.

The Gwinnett County ethics board discusses going into executive session Tuesday morning. TYLER ESTEP / TYLER.ESTEP@AJC.COM

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