Metro Atlanta politicians try to take down their ethics boards

Two politicians accused of misconduct in office are challenging whether local ethics boards should even exist, arguing that elected officials are already held accountable by voters and the court system.

Gwinnett County Commissioner Tommy Hunter and ex-DeKalb County Commission Sharon Barnes Sutton say in separate lawsuits that county ethics agencies looking into their cases are acting like an unaccountable “prosecutor, judge and jury.”

They’ve already won an initial battle. A judge dismantled the DeKalb Board of Ethics in April after Sutton, accused of misspending public money, filed a lawsuit that challenged the way the DeKalb Ethics Board was chosen. The DeKalb Board of Ethics appealed last month.

Hunter, who caused a firestorm by calling civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis a “racist pig,” echoed Sutton’s arguments in his pending lawsuit against the Gwinnett…

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