Latta Mayor hires recreational director without background check

A Pee Dee recreational director and the mayor who hired him are under fire. Police say the Latta mayor did not conduct a background check on the director – despite the job involving children.

Police say that the new hire, Vontray Sellers, is familiar with law enforcement.

They say the 24-yer-old drove a vehicle under a suspended license, lied to police, and assaulted a correctional facility employee, among other charges.

But Latta Mayor Earl Bullard didn't know about those charges when he recently hired Sellers as Latta's parks and recreation director.

Police records say the mayor failed to conduct a background check on him.

“I couldn't believe that you would actually hire someone in a position dealing with kids so closely that their background wasn't important to look into,” says Wayne Powers, who has been coaching youth football for more than a decade in Latta.

Mayor Bullard wouldn't answer our questions over the phone or when we approached him at Latta Town Hall. Instead, he called the police. Without answering our questions or giving us any reason why, the officer then kicked our cameras out of Latta Town Hall. Meanwhile, parental concern is growing.

“You've got parents skeptical about signing their kids up here. And without the kids, you don't have a program,” says Powers.

News13 then approached Sellers about the charges, who quickly jumped into his car, dodging us as we asked questions.

Parents say they asked the mayor for a meeting on the issue, but he refused to meet with them as a group.

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