How a South Carolina Lesbian Police Chief Got Her Job Back

Written by Zack Ford

Crystal Moore has officially been reinstated as police chief of Latta, S.C., after having been fired by the mayor for no other apparent reason except that she is lesbian. The town restructured its entire local government in order to save Moore her job.

Back in April, Mayor Earl Bullard fired Moore, who had served on the police force for 20 years, after issuing her seven reprimands, an apparent act of retribution for an investigation she completed that implicated him for not properly conducting a background check for a hire. City Councilman Jared Taylor revealed a phone message from Bullard in which he said he’d rather have someone “who drank too much” take care of his children than someone who is gay, because “that ain’t the damn way that they’re supposed to be.” This led many to conclude that Bullard fired Moore because she is lesbian.

The Town Council came to Moore’s defense, passing an emergency ordinance to block Bullard from replacing Moore for two months. In that time, the Council would consider whether or not to allow the mayor to continue having that much unilateral power.

This past week, residents of the town turned out to vote on a referendum that would restructure its government to place more power with the Council and less with the mayor. The initial results Tuesday night showed that the referendum had passed 328-147, stripping the mayor of much of his power. Still, the results would not be certified until Friday, and Bullard had one last trick up his sleeve to block Moore.

On Wednesday, Bullard appointed a new Police Chief by the name of Freddie Davis. Davis’s contract actually contained a clause attempting to protect him from the impending changes: “If the town of Latta changes the form of government and another person is hired or selected as Chief of Police, the employee as named in this contract shall be entitled to continue employment at the contacted rate of compensation.”

This caveat did not sway the Council, which voted Friday night after the referendum was certified to reinstate Moore and dismiss Davis from responsibilities he had not yet even assumed. She was immediately sworn back in to resume her job. It’s unclear if the Council will be bound to compensate Davis per his contract.

South Carolina remains one of 29 states where it’s still legal to fire individuals just because of their sexual orientation.

This post originally appeared on ThinkProgress

Photo: Crystal Moore being sworn back in as Latta Police Chief Friday night. Credit: @LizCooperWPDE / Twitter

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Francesca A-S
Past Member about a year ago

Good news

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H.about a year ago

I think a small town needs a new mayor. What a bully.

Karen Martinez
Karen Martinezabout a year ago

If she was doing her job effectively, what difference does it make with whom she sleeps? Folks just need to get over it. They've dealt with homosexuals for years, and it was fine as long as said persons did not admit it. Now that they wish to admit it, OMG, they're horrid people who can't do their jobs. Homosexuals aren't out to corrupt our children, they aren't out to break up heterosexual marriages, they aren't trying to bastardize society. Those who can't handle someone who has different preferences needs to stay home and hide in their bomb shelters.

Kate Kenzie
Kate Kenzieabout a year ago

Earl Bullard is a neanderthal

Nils Anders Lunde
Nils Anders Lundeabout a year ago


Robin Pasholk
Robin Pasholkabout a year ago

It doesn't matter a rat's azz whether the person in a given job is gay, straight, male, female, or whatever -- all that matters is whether this person is competent at the job. IMHO, Chief Moore is, Mayor Bullard isn't. And apparently the good citizens of Latta agree.

Christine V.
Christine V.about a year ago

glad she got her job back

barb p.
Past Member about a year ago


Charlie Rush
Charlene Rushabout a year ago

It's as it should be.

pam w.
pam w.about a year ago

Well, well, well! No doubt the religiously-inspired bigots are snarling in the corner. Perhaps they'll refuse her services when they've been victimized by criminals.

Uh, huh.