The complaint is the first one received by the county since it adopted its current ethics ordinance in 2011 and, if successful, could lead to possible penalties ranging from written reprimand to removal from office. Seth Weathers, a spokesman for Hunter, has laughed off the suit. On Monday, he asked if "the filing attorneys really passed the bar."
Attorneys Helen Kim Ho and Christine Koehler said Tuesday that their complaint "is not a joke." They hope it will lead to Hunter's ouster.
“This isn’t just about the one statement he made, but rather the entire display of divisiveness and hatefulness his Facebook page displays,” Turner, on whose behalf the complaint was filed, said. Turner lives in Atlanta but it’s not believed to be necessary for someone who files an ethics complaint to be a resident of Gwinnett County.
Woman who filed Gwinnett ethics complaint speaks
Once the commission meeting started, the board quickly approved or renewed nearly $9.5 million in county contracts. The majority of that was more than $4.5 million dedicated to renew a contract for the maintenance of county vehicles and equipment. Other big-dollar contracts included roughly $782,000 for the county’s HVAC maintenance, installation and replacement needs; nearly $700,000 for road repair and patching; and $500,000 for office supplies.
As Hunter attempted to speak on another issue later in the meeting, protesters gathered in the audience repeatedly feigned loud coughing fits. Chairman Charlotte Nash had to ask them to stop at least four times.
“Come on now, please,” Nash said. “We have business that needs to be conducted.”
Protesters, many of which were spurred into action by the Gwinnett County Democratic Party, then took turns speaking during the meeting’s public comment section. All told, they spoke for about two hours.
They carried signs with messages like “still we rise” and “ignorance has no place in politics.”
“I don’t understand why you can’t see a person’s heart and mind, and not the color of their skin, or their religion, or their politics,” Snellville resident Gail Webb said. “You must resign.”
Hunter, a Republican, has apologized for his "choice of words" in the Lewis post and agreed to attend the Gwinnett NAACP's meeting on Valentine's Day, but has repeatedly said he won't resign.