Protesters show up at Tuesday's Gwinnett County commission meeting but embattled Commissioner Tommy Hunter does not.
Commission Chair Charlotte Nash explained Hunter was out of town.
The Gwinnett Daily Post reports the board, in Hunter's absence, votes unanimously to name Herman Pennamon to the ethics panel hearing a complaint against Hunter. An Atlanta resident filed the complaint after Hunter referred to Congressman John Lewis as a "racist pig" on Facebook.
Hunter has apologized but resists calls to resign.
Three of the five ethics panel members have now been appointed. Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter chose Terri Duncan as his representative and the Gwinnett Bar Association tapped David Will. Hunter and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia must still make their picks.
County Attorney Bill Linkous advises commissioners Hunter can be censured or reprimanded for his behavior but state law does not grant the Board of Commissioners authority to suspend or remove him.
Linkous explains citizens have the option to organize a recall effort. Provisions of state law prevent a recall within 180 days of an elected official's term. The Gwinnett Daily Post reports a campaign against Hunter could not begin in earnest until summer.
For the first time this week, protesters also turned up at Hunter's employer in Norcross.
United Consulting distances itself from Hunter's comments and has apologized to Lewis.