Latta could soon face a breach of contract lawsuit

LATTA, SC (WMBF) - A lawsuit could be filed against the Town of Latta for breach of contract by the man hired by the mayor to serve as Chief of Police. The city ended up re-hiring fired chief Crystal Moore, after Freddie Davis' contract was signed.

"I keep hoping the Town of Latta will have someone contact me so that we can try to settle it without filing a lawsuit," attorney Kevin Barth said. Kevin Barth is the Florence attorney representing Freddie Davis.

Davis was hired last month by Latta Mayor Earl Bullard to fill the town's vacant police chief position.

"That contract is binding. The mayor certainly in that type of organization has the authority to bind," Barth said.

Barth said he has reached out to the Town of Latta in hopes of settling the dispute over Freddie Davis' contract without going to court.

Latta Councilman Jarett Taylor said Barth got an answer regarding the contract dispute from the town's Mayor Pro Temp.

"I was told by another council member that Kevin Barth had gotten in touch with him over the phone and council's response was that Mr. Davis does not have a current position with the town of Latta and we thought in our opinion, council's opinion, that the contract was null and void," said Latta Councilman Jarett Taylor.

Davis was hired just days before a referendum changed the form of government for the town, taking administrative authority from the mayor and giving it to town council.

One day later, at a special meeting the town's former Police Chief, Crystal Moore, was put back on the job.

A letter was sent to Davis stating his services at police chief were no longer needed. Barth said that simply doesn't cut it.

"What they did is offered him a written contract signed by the mayor of the town - he signed it as well, and we think it's a binding legal contract," Barth said.

"We did what we thought was right, as council the town has told us what we did was right by them," Taylor said.

"Filing a lawsuit is always the very last thing we you want to do and so hopefully it won't come to that, but if it does we will file one," Barth said.

Davis' attorney said if and when the lawsuit is filed it will seek monetary damages.

Right now the Town of Latta does not have an attorney, he quit a little over a month ago.

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