In a show of support for a small South Carolina town’s fired police chief, Latta, S.C. council members voted unanimously Tuesday to block the mayor from hiring a replacement.
The town rallied in support of Crystal Moore, who was fired last week after serving on the police force for more than 20 years.
The council voted 6-0 in an “emergency ordinance,” effectively barring Mayor Ed Bullard from hiring a new police chief for about two months, WBTW News 13 reported.
“We have all intentions of hiring Chief Moore back,” Council member Jarrett Taylor told the local news station Tuesday.
Moore, who became the department’s first female chief in 2012, has accused the mayor of firing her for being openly gay.
“I’m doing my job – I don’t understand why he would fire me,” Moore told msnbc’s Craig Melvin Sunday.
The mayor fired Moore last week after she received seven reprimands, all handed over to her in a single day. The firing triggered an outpouring of support for the police chief among the town’s roughly 1,410 residents as council members moved to take action against the mayor and reinstate Moore as chief. One city council member came forward with an audio recording of a phone call with the mayor, where Bullard is apparently heard making homophobic remarks.
Bullard maintains Moore was fired over several reprimands, including questioning the authority of a supervisor; failure to report problems in other departments to a supervisor; and contacting news media to “help bring about disorder and disruption to the town of Latta.” The reprimands were the first Moore received in her 23 years of service in the department.