Tensions on Buford City Commission lead to fight


The families of two Buford city commissioners brawled last month at a Doobie Brothers concert.

City Commissioner L. Chris Burge and his son Cory, a superintendent at Buford’s water treatment plant, fought with two sons of Buford Commissioner Michael Y. Smith.

Neither Smith nor any of the four involved in the fight could be reached for comment.

All four were cited for disorderly conduct, according to a police report. Officer R.H. Guinn said in his report that there were conflicting stories about who started the fight and no independent witnesses. The Buford-sponsored concert was held at the city’s community center.

The Sept. 12 fight was caught on a security camera, but the beginning was obscured by an open door. The footage showed “all four individuals engaged in mutual combat,” the report said.

Everyone refused medical treatment, police said. Cory Burge had a bloody nose; Chris Burge had a bruised left eye and cut on one ear; and Harrison Smith had a bruise on his left jaw, according to police. Carson Smith, an attorney, was uninjured.

All four appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, according to the report.

Buford has three commissioners, including Chairman Phillip Beard. Burge is the vice chairman.

Burge told The Gwinnett Daily Post he had no plans to resign his post. He also told the paper the fight was because he thought Smith should have abstained from some votes. Tensions between the two had been high for some time, he said.

“This has been going on for probably a year, year and a half,” Burge told the Daily Post.

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