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      Latta town council to hold special meeting to discuss police chief

      File image of Crystal Moore at a grievance committee hearing

      Latta Town Council will hold a special meeting Friday at 7 p.m. to discuss the police chief, budget and change of government, according to officials at town hall.

      Voters approved a referendum Tuesday 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 Mayor Earl Bullard fired Latta's longtime police chief Crystal Moore in April.

      Council said at the time it would rehire Moore if voters approved the change to a Strong Council form of government, which they did Tuesday.

      But one day after the referendum vote, Bullard announced that he has hired Freddie Davis as the town's new police chief.

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

      Moore has said she believes she was fired for being an openly gay woman. Bullard has said he cannot say why Moore was fired because of personnel policies.

      Bullard issued seven reprimands to Moore for things like questioning the authority of a supervisor, contacting the news media to bring disorder to the town of Latta and not maintaining order at council meetings. Moore filed a grievance with the town based on those reprimands.

      On May 22, the town grievance committee found that there was no proof Moore was fired for being gay, but made no recommendation about further action.

      We'll let you know what happens at Friday's council meeting.