There’s no proof former Latta police chief Crystal Moore was fired for being gay, according to findings released by the town’s Grievance Committee. The grievance committee was supposed to determine if Mayor Earl Bullard justly fired Moore. Her sexuality was not listed as one of Bullard’s reasons.
The Latta grievance committee met last month for Moore’s hearing, where Mayor Earl Bullard said he fired Moore for seven reprimands. Those reprimands included questioning the authority of the mayor, allowing town council meetings to become disorderly and other reasons.
Moore’s lawyer called those reprimands false and asked Bullard to show her where those actions violate the employee handbook. He couldn’t.
“He admitted to me that all the rules should apply to everyone, including him, but then he did not read the employee handbook, which contains all the rules,” Malissa Burnette said.
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That didn’t persuade the 4-person grievance committee. The committee gave a letter, which is not dated, to Latta town council this week. Some council members gave a copy to News 13. In part, it says:
“The committee went over all reprimands and phone records from Crystal Moore’s phone. We discussed if we thought she was fired for being openly gay. We all agreed there was no proof of Crystal Moore being fired for being openly gay.”
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Moore first saw the findings when News13 showed her the letter Thursday before the council meeting.
“It’s kinda confusing why they were discussing why if they thought I was fired for being gay. That wasn’t the issue. The issue was the bogus reprimands,” Moore says.
The findings continue, “after an hour and a half the committee decided to take a secret vote. The vote was 2-2, there was a split vote therefore the grievance committee has no recommendation on this matter.”
Moore says she still plans to fight to get her job back. The town will vote on a referendum at the end of the month to decide whether or not it wants to become council strong or mayor strong. If it chooses to become council strong, some council members say they’ll vote to give Moore her job back.