A South Carolina mayor who has been caught saying he prefers alcoholics around his children over homosexuals has fired an openly gay police chief.
A 20-year veteran with the Latta Police Department, Crystal Moore was fired on Tuesday after getting seven reprimands in one day from the newly elected mayor, Earl Bullard.
During a recent investigation Moore uncovered some damning information about Bullard which may have also contributed to her firing.
She found that the director of the town’s parks and recreation department was operating official vehicles on a suspended license. When she dug deeper, she discovered that Bullard hadn’t performed a proper background check on Vontray Sellers prior to giving him the position.
Then on Tuesday, Moore was dismissed by Bullard even though in 20 years she has never had any disciplinary actions against her.
Bullard had a laundry list of complaints such as Moore conducted a background check without authorization, questioned the authority of a supervisor, and used the media to create disruption and disorder within the town of Latta.
Her firing has caused many to wonder if Bullard was motivated by revenge or if it’s because he allegedly isn’t a fan of homosexuals.
One of the town council members, Jared Taylor, is said to have provided the local news station WBTW with a recording of the mayor making anti-gay remarks in a telephone conversation.
Within the phone call Bullard can be heard saying “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.”
“I’m not going to let two 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 two men neither.”
Moore believes without a doubt that she was terminated because she was gay, she said on Thursday.
“I can’t believe that we still have no equal rights. That’s the biggest issue. I’ve been harassed, intimidated. This is the first time it’s been this public. I’d tried living a quiet decent life and do what I’m supposed to,” she said.
Other council members have also accused Bullard of not following the rules as the new mayor.
Lutherine Williams said that “We have codes, but this mayor refuses to obey anything in that book he don’t want to.” He added that before being sworn in as mayor, Bullard had made a remark saying that Moore wouldn’t have a job once he took office.
The city council claims that the police chief can’t be fired by the mayor without prior approval, and they held a special meeting on the termination Thursday evening where they voted for a referendum to weaken the mayor’s power.