Latta's 'Strong Council' referendum officially certified - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Latta's 'Strong Council' referendum officially certified

A supporter of the referendum displays a sign urging voters to vote yes. (Source: Ken Baker) A supporter of the referendum displays a sign urging voters to vote yes. (Source: Ken Baker)
Voters await the results of the referendum Tuesday. (Source: Ken Baker) Voters await the results of the referendum Tuesday. (Source: Ken Baker)
Tuesday's ballot asked voters which type of government they want to see in their town. | Source: Ken Baker Tuesday's ballot asked voters which type of government they want to see in their town. | Source: Ken Baker
Latta voters take to the polls for the Darlington County runoff and the Latta referendum. (Source: Ken Baker) Latta voters take to the polls for the Darlington County runoff and the Latta referendum. (Source: Ken Baker)

LATTA, SC (WMBF) - Voters in Latta cast their ballots Tuesday in a referendum that changed the town's system of government from a "strong mayor" to a "strong council," according to David Shelley, Chairman of the Latta Municipal Election Commission.

The results were officially certified Friday morning, and town council members said they would discuss re-hiring former police chief Crystal Moore at a meeting Friday night.

The measure asked whether voters want the town's mayor or town council to have more power.

The call for a referendum stemmed from the firing of former Latta Police Chief Crystal Moore.

Mayor Earl Bullard made the decision to let her go after Moore reportedly refused to sign off on disciplinary action.

Most council members disagreed with that decision, along with dozens of citizens who protested outside a town council meeting in April.

Since she was fired, Moore has appeared on several national news outlets, including MSNBC, saying that she was fired by Mayor Bullard because she is openly gay.

One day before the referendum was voted on, Mayor Bullard hired a new police chief, Freddie Davis. The contract Davis signed states that even if the town hires another police chief, he will hold a position in the town government for the agreed-upon salary.

On Tuesday, June 24, 328 voters in favor of the referendum to change the government to a strong council, and 136 voter against the measure, according to Shelley. 

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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