Latta, S.C. Mayor Earl Bullard has stirred outrage in the small town after firing Police Chief Crystal Moore on Tuesday.
Mayor Bullard defended the firing of Moore (pictured) because she has seven reprimands. However, Town Councilwoman Lutherine Williams claims all of those reprimands were given to Chief Moore in one day.
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Several Latta City Council members and many residents believe Mayor Bullard actually fired Moore because she’s a lesbian. Over 100 residents held a rally for Moore outside city hall on Wednesday (video below).
“I can’t believe that we still have no equal rights,” Moore told WBTW. “That’s the biggest issue. I’ve been harassed, intimidated. This is the first time it’s been this public. I’d tried living a quiet decent life and do what I’m supposed to.”
Town Councilman Jared Taylor told WBTW that he recorded Mayor Bullard making anti-gay statements during a phone conversation.
“You know, you got people out there, I’m telling you, buddy, I don’t agree with some of the lifestyles that I see portrayed, and I don’t say anything because that is the way they want to live, but I am not going to let my child be around,” Mayor Bullard reportedly says on the phone call.
“That ain’t the way the world works,” added Mayor Bullard. “Now all these people showering down and saying, ‘Oh, it’s a different lifestyle, they can have it.’ Okay, fine and dandy, but I don’t have to look at it, and I don’t want my child around it.”
According to SCNow.com, the town council met last night to discuss Moore’s firing. Mayor Bullard refused to talk about it, except to say that the "mayor has all the power to fire or suspend.”
Taylor countered, “We have a strong mayor, weak council, form of government, and the municipal association rules state that the mayor has the right to hire and fire, subject to personnel rules adopted by the town council. Our personnel rules say hiring and firing is subject to council approval.”
In response, the town council voted 6-1 last night to take away some of the mayor’s powers and give more power to the town council, but the proposal will have to be approved by the town's residents.