Columbia Free Times
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After Gay Police Chief’s Firing, Town Votes to Change Government

By Eva Moore
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 |
Voters in the town of Latta, South Carolina, have voted overwhelmingly to change the town's form of government, taking power away from the mayor who fired the popular police chief in April.

Mayor Earl Bullard has maintained he didn't fire Chief Crystal Moore because she is gay, but Moore and others believe he did — and there's ample evidence of Bullard's dislike for gay people.

Latta has a strong-mayor form of government, which means the mayor is responsible for hiring and firing town employees. Town Council, which supports Moore, voted last month to hold a referendum on whether to change to a council form of government, where the Council could handle hiring and firing.

At the polls Tuesday, 328 voted for a change in government; 147 said no. That comprises about half the town's roughly 900 registered voters.

Council previously has voted 6-1 in a symbolic show of support for Moore, and will likely offer her the job of chief again now that it has power to do so.

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