Fired Latta Police Chief: 'My lifestyle has nothing to do with my job'
LATTA, SC (WMBF)- Latta's Police Chief was let go more than a week ago. Tuesday night, the city council held a public meeting where members voted on two things having to do with Chief Crystal Moore's firing. After the meeting we sat down with her for a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
Moore has worked her way through the ranks during her 23 years with the Latta Police Department, only to be fired four months after a new mayor took over.
"In four months, I've never got a reprimand from him. He's told them constantly at council meetings that she's doing a good job. Her and the department are doing a good job. Seven days before I was fired, he told me I was doing a good job," explains Moore.
Since Moore's firing, there have been two city council meetings. The first one did not allow for much comment from the public. All of the people that showed up could not fit in Latta's town hall, so they had to listen over a loud speaker.
Councilman Jarett Taylor says the goal of Tuesday's meeting was to learn how the public felt about the way Moore did her job and how they felt about her firing. On Tuesday, the council voted on her performance, and all six members agreed she completed all of her duties. They also passed an ordinance to delay the hiring of a new chief for 60 days.
Moore did not attend Tuesday's meeting because she didn't want to sway anyone with her presence.
Moore is openly gay, but says her personal life never came into the workplace. She listened to what the mayor said on a recording about same sex relationships soon after she was fired.
"That's crushing," Moore said. "My lifestyle has nothing to do with my job. It's not a lifestyle to me. I'm in a loving committed relationship and that's what it is, it's my personal life - it should have never been brought to work."
We have also asked Mayor Earl Bullard to have a sit down interview with us to explain his decision. He told us he could not go into detail about her firing and that his hands were legally tied. However, we did catch him in the town hall earlier today.
We asked if Moore's sexuality was behind her firing. "No ma'am, nothing at all. Not a thing," Mayor Bullard said.
The town council says the ad for a new chief has already been in the paper. They are hoping that passing the ordinance to delay the hiring of a new chief by 60 days will give Moore time to get her job back. It will also allow citizens to vote on June 24 on whether or not they want to change their government and give the council more power.
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