Crystal Moore

No doubt you all have heard of the HUGE controversy coming out of Latta, SC last week regarding the firing of  its first female police chief, Crystal Moore. Let’s recap:

From WBTW News 13:

The Mayor of the Town Of Latta fired the town’s Police Chief on Tuesday.

Latta town councilman Jared Taylor told us the mayor fired Crystal Moore because she received 7 reprimands. News13 was there as Moore, the first female chief of Latta, packed her belongings and left her office late Tuesday afternoon.

One Council Member told News13 that the seven reprimands Moore received on Tuesday from the mayor were the first reprimands Moore ever received on the job — and that’s after working for the police department in Latta for more than 20 years.

Moore has received a lot of support from residents. The mayor, Earl Bullard, on the other hand, has received much criticism. Several council members said that in firing Moore, he did not follow proper protocol. Some questioned why he gave Moore all seven reprimands in one day and one council member called several of them “questionable.”

And others have said that Bullard fired Moore because she is openly gay. In fact, an audio of a phone conversation obtained by the network seems to give that argument lots of credibility. The mayor’s comments are absolutely appalling (to hear the audio of Bullard’s comments, go here):

 

Transcript:

“I would much rather have.. and I will say this to anybody’s face… somebody who drank and drank too much taking care of my child than I had somebody whose lifestyle is questionable around children. Because that ain’t the damn way it’s supposed to be. 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. ” I’m not going to let 2 women stand up there and hold hands and let my child be aware of it. And I’m not going to see them do it with 2 men neither.” I’m not going to do it. Because that ain’t the way the world works. ” Now, all these people showering down and saying ‘Oh it’s a different lifestyle they can have it.’ Ok, fine and dandy, but I don’t have to look at it and I don’t want my child around it.”

To say that those comments initiated a firestorm would be a serious understatement.  The backlash was incredible. Folks in Latta rallied on Moore’s side while various national and international media, including MSNBC, and the Huffington Post covered the story.

The statewide group for lgbt equality, SC Equality, and the Human Rights Campaign both weighed in on the issue, saying that it proves the lgbts need anti-discrimination job protection.

There has been much speculation that aside from homophobia, Moore was fired because she did her job too well.

From the Rob Groce of the Charleston Democrat Examiner:

Latta, S.C., Police Chief Crystal Moore was released by Mayor Earl Bullard on April 15, and for at least one of two questionable reasons. First, she questioned a recent hire of the new mayor; second, Moore is openly gay, and to Bullard’s open discontent.

Moore recently investigated the town’s new Parks and Recreation Dept. director Vontray Sellers, hired by Bullard in February, and after local news reported that same month that Sellers was driving a town vehicle despite having a suspended driver’s license.

In her research, Moore learned that recent charges against 24-year-old Sellers, whose job includes direct interaction with children, also included assault of a correction facility employee. Bullard didn’t conduct a background check on Sellers, Moore also learned. The mayor, who first took office in January, refused to answer questions from both media and the public about the hire. On Tuesday, Bullard fired Moore after issuing seven reprimands all pertaining to her investigation.

Whatever the case may be, this controversy is a long way from being over. On Monday Bullard claimed that he did not fire Moore because she is gay. In the same interview, however, he refuses to state the reason for her firing.

Meanwhile, Moore has continued to receive much support from Latta citizens and the town council.