SLED opens investigation into Latta Town Hall

Evidence tape sealing the doors to the Latta Town Hall on Friday afternoon

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has opened a preliminary investigation to determine whether any criminal laws were broken at Latta Town Hall.

SLED spokesman Thom Berry said Monday afternoon that the office received a request from the town and opened the investigation.

On Friday afternoon evidence tape was placed over the doors to the Latta Town Hall and Interim Latta Police Chief Derrick Cartwright said local law enforcement closed the town hall because members of the town council believe that suspicious activity was going on.

The town hall remained closed Monday morning and employees who worked at the town hall were told by council members that the office is closed due to a pending investigation, according to Latta Mayor Earl Bullard.

On Friday, Berry said SLED Chief Mark Keel received a call from Latta Town Councilman Jared Taylor requesting that SLED conduct an investigation into allegations involving the town.

Keel asked for a letter to be drawn up and sent to SLED from a majority of the town council. Berry said Keel told Taylor once they received that letter, SLED would decide if an investigation was needed.

Keel did not ask for any action to be taken by the town, including the sealing of town hall, until SLED received the letter and made a decision, Berry said.

Taylor said Friday night, "If they (SLED) don't want the investigation, then we will open town hall back up. But we felt like it was in the best interest of this town council to preserve whatever may or may not have happened inside the town hall, prior to us taking control of this government."

We will continue to post updates to this story as new information becomes available.