Monday, April 21, 2014

Latta mayor's exclusive interview leaves unanswered questions about Crystal Moore firing

A week after his firing of Police Chief Crystal Moore led to an onslaught of national and international
Crystal Moore
criticism, as well as a discussion on employment fairness for lgbts, Latta SC mayor Earl Bullard is finally talking about the issue.

Or rather not talking as much as some folks would like.

From News Channel 15:

Latta Mayor Earl Bullard talked exclusively with WPDE NewsChannel 15 about last week's firing of longtime police chief Crystal Moore. News of the controversial firing has been sweeping the nation after Moore said she lost her job because of her sexuality. Bullard said personnel policy won't allow him to say why Moore was let go, but says it had nothing to do with her being homosexual.

"Right now, it's a hot issue. It's getting media attention across the nation because of what they say I did. And they say I fired her because of her sexuality and nothing could be farther from the truth. If they did some real investigating they would find out that that has nothing to do with this. Nothing at all," explained Bullard.

  . . . "If Chief Crystal Moore would sign a release granting us, meaning the town, the authority to release the reasons for her dismissal, then and only then can I talk about the specifics of it. Now, if there's nothing to hide then she'll sign that release and I can talk with you openly about the reasoning."

He said he would have never fired Moore if it wasn't justified or in his authority as Mayor of Latta.

But town council members have said that Bullard was not justified. Several members contended that Bullard could not officially fire Moore without their permission.

 From what I read from the article, Bullard did not address the homophobic comments he made which included how he would rather have an alchoholic looking after his child than someone in an "alternative lifestyle."

To many folks, the phrase "alternative lifestyle" is code word for gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

Nor did Bullard address the speculation that part of the reason for Moore's firing had to do with her investigation with a man he hired as Latta's Town and Parks Director.

From the Rob Groce of the Charleston Democrat Examiner:

Moore recently investigated the town’s new Parks and Recreation Dept. director Vontray Sellers, hired by Bullard in February, and after local news reported that same month that Sellers was driving a town vehicle despite having a suspended driver’s license.
In her research, Moore learned that recent charges against 24-year-old Sellers, whose job includes direct interaction with children, also included assault of a correction facility employee. Bullard didn’t conduct a background check on Sellers, Moore also learned. The mayor, who first took office in January, refused to answer questions from both media and the public about the hire.

For now the situation is in serious limbo. According to the News Channel 15 story:

Latta's current form of government keeps town council members from voting to re-instate Moore as the town's police chief. Council voted last week to hold a referendum June 24 asking voters to decide if the form of government should be changed to a council-run system.

No comments: