It’s now been more than a month since Gwinnett County Commissioner Tommy Hunter — one of the highest elected officials in one of the state’s most diverse communities — sparked backlash by calling civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis a “racist pig” on Facebook.
Below is a detailed look at all that has transpired during that time.
Jan. 14: Gwinnett Commissioner writes his now infamous Facebook post calling civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John Lewis a "racist pig." In the post, Hunter also refers to Democrats as "Demonrats" and "bunch of idiots."
Jan. 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution publishes screenshots of Hunter's posts. The commissioner tells The AJC his choice of words was "probably an overreaction out of aggravation" but doesn't back down.
The meeting, however, quickly devolves into shouting, protests and infighting among NAACP members. Hunter attempts to answer several questions over the shouts but is ushered out by Weathers after about 30 minutes.
Hunter did say this to the gathered crowd before leaving the meeting: “When we got elected, we worked hard making sure that the entire county was heard, the entire county was understood, the entire county was taken seriously. ...It hurts that we’re in a situation now where some people feel, I don’t know what the word is. Slighted maybe.”
Feb. 15: Phyllis Richardson, one of the protesters at the NAACP meeting, says the tumult was by design. She says the organization's leadership invited Hunter without consulting their members, many who believe the Hunter situation is "beyond repair."
Feb. 16: Chairman Charlotte Nash addresses the Hunter controversy in her "state of the county" address by delivering this comment, among others: "Let me be perfectly clear: Failure to respect all Gwinnettians and welcome their participation in our community is neither acceptable nor smart."
In his letter, Reed calls Hunter’s comments “insulting, reprehensible and insulting.” He tells United Consulting, who does business with the city of Atlanta, to “let me know by close of business Monday, February 27 how you plan to resolve this matter.”
United Consulting sends a letter back to Reed, saying Hunter had been "disciplined as any other employee with the company would be disciplined for such a transgression."
March 7: On a day when Hunter is "out of town on business," the Board of Commissioners holds its regular meetings. It also appoints a familiar face to the ethics panel being assembled to investigate the complaint against Hunter.
Tyler Estep is a reporter covering DeKalb County, its government and its people. A Gwinnett County native and University of Georgia graduate, he has been with the AJC since 2015. He previously covered his home county and served stints on the paper's hyperlocal and breaking news teams.