LATTA, SC (WMBF) – Crystal Moore was reinstated as police chief Friday and returned to her job on Monday, but apparently, the man hired by the mayor to fill this position received conflicting information about his future with the town.
Shortly after Mayor Earl Bullard hired Freddie Davis as the chief and a contract was signed, the citizens of Latta voted on a referendum to change the town's government to a "strong council" style, effectively stripping the mayor's power to hire a new chief.
A letter provided to us by a Latta Town Council member dated Monday, June 30 was sent by Freddie Davis' attorney, to the previous mayor of the town of Latta, Nancy Brigman. The letter states that Davis received a voicemail indicating that his employment contract was terminated, and he would not be working for the town.
"Please be advised that my client is ready, willing and able to comply with his duties and responsibilities under the Employment Agreement, and can do so immediately," the letter states. "However, he is getting completely conflicting information."
Another letter provided by the council member, sent from the council and dated Tuesday, July 1, makes it clear that Davis' contract was terminated. It states:
"We feel that given the contact does not carry proper documentation in the form of a town seal, the document is invalid to begin with. We also find that the contact's promise to allow you to hire and fire officers with consultation from the mayor directly violates state law S.C. Code 5-11-30, 5-7-160, and S.C. Code 5-11-40(b). We also feel that given the publicity of this problem, accepting this job came with reasonable expectation of termination. As a town, we look forward to moving on with our future and wish nothing but the best for you and your family. You [sic] services for the contact that begins on July 3, 2014 will no longer be needed."
Reporter Ken Baker is in Latta to get to the bottom of this debacle – tune in to WMBF News this evening for his full report.