Latta Town Council fires new police chief, rehires Crystal Moore

Crystal Moore being sworn in as the Police Chief of Latta Friday evening

The police chief hired by Latta Mayor Earl Bullard was fired Friday evening by Latta Town Council. The council then immediately rehired former Chief Crystal Moore.

Moore was fired by Bullard in April.

On Tuesday, voters in Latta approved a referendum to change the town's form of government from Strong Mayor-Weak Council to Weak Mayor-Strong Council.

Council wanted a change of government after Bullard fired Moore, who was Latta's longtime police chief, and the council lacked the power to reinstate her.

One day after the referendum vote, Bullard announced that he hired Freddie Davis to be the town's new police chief.

Davis was hired June 18, and the contract was signed on June 23, Bullard said.

Some council members questioned if Davis' contract is valid because Bullard didn't have council's approval before he entered into it, as required by Latta's Town Code.

Bullard said Davis' contact is valid and addresses a change in the form of government so that Davis will still have to be paid under a Strong Council form of government.

Bullard added if council fires Davis, they will need to pay him the $80,000 left on his two year contract.

Bullard said council needs to hire a town attorney before they make any decisions.

According to the SC Municipal Association, the town council needs to notify the SC Secretary of State Office and then that office would begin to make changes in Latta's town code to reflect its new form of government.

Council members say they called the SC Secretary of State Friday to inform the office of the change of government.

WPDE has called and emailed the SC Secretary of State's spokesperson several times to ask if this change has gone through, we have not received a call back.