Crystal Moore, the lesbian who said she was fired from her job as chief of police in Latta, S.C., in April, is back in uniform and back on the job today, despite Mayor Earl Bullard’s best effort to keep her away.
Bullard fired Moore in April, claiming she failed to maintain order on the force and questioned authority. But Moore said Bullard is a homophobe who fired her because she is gay, a claim backed up by a homophobic tirade Bullard launched into during a phone conversation that was recorded and released to the public.
The rest of the Latta Town Council put a hiring freeze in place to keep Bullard from hiring anyone else for Moore’s job until an election could be held on June 23 in which residents of Latta voted to replace the town’s “strong mayor” form of government with a “strong council” government, clearing the way for the rest of the council members to reinstate Moore. Bullard temporarily stymied that plan by announcing that he had already hired someone named Frankie Davis as the town’s new police chief, getting the action in just after the hiring freeze expired and just before the town’s residents voted to change the power structure in the town government.
But the council met Friday, June 27 — a meeting at which Bullard was eligible to vote but which he did not attend — the council voted to invalidate the two-year contract Bullard had signed with Davis and then voted 6-0 to reinstate Moore. Moore took the oath of office at that meeting and then was greeted by about 15 residents on Monday morning who showed up to welcome her back.