South Carolina Mayor Earl Bullard fires police chief Crystal Moore for being gay

  • metta

    Posts: 39118

    Apr 21, 2014 9:43 PM GMT
    South Carolina mayor fires police chief for being gay

    https://www.dailykos.com/campaigns/778

    Details:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/18/1292893/-South-Carolina-Mayor-Fires-Town-s-First-Female-Police-Chief-Because-She-s-Gay

    https://www.facebook.com/Standbychiefmoore


    http://www.wbtw.com/story/25266895/folks-question-why-latta-mayor-fired-the-towns-first-female-police-chief
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    Apr 21, 2014 9:52 PM GMT

    The first link won't take me anywhere, so here's another:

    http://www.salon.com/2014/04/21/south_carolina_police_chief_allegedly_fired_for_being_gay_i_cant_believe_that_we_still_have_no_equal_rights/
  • metta

    Posts: 39118

    Apr 21, 2014 9:54 PM GMT
    WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC
  • metta

    Posts: 39118

    Apr 21, 2014 9:58 PM GMT
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    Apr 21, 2014 10:20 PM GMT
    What year is this again?
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    Apr 21, 2014 10:34 PM GMT
    The rumor mill suggests that on top of the Mayor's animus, he was bitter because he lost his significant other. To her.

    Small potatoes given the bigger picture (ENDA, anybody?). But an interesting angle if there's any truth to it.

    Good to see a vast majority of the town (and the town council, it seems) rallying to support the chief's cause (and/or bash the mayor's idiocy).
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    Apr 22, 2014 2:57 PM GMT
    Apart from the blatant discrimination against gays, the thing that pisses me off about this type of thing is how a person who is obviously good at what they do, gets fired because of someone's irrational and ignorant beliefs.

    Barmey!
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    Apr 22, 2014 3:21 PM GMT
    This is legal?!?!?!?!
    You Americans are so much more redneck than I previously thought.
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    Apr 22, 2014 5:18 PM GMT
    Sweetooth saidThis is legal?!?!?!?!
    You Americans are so much more redneck than I previously thought.


    Please don't lump all Americans together like that. Most people are horrified this is still legal.
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    Apr 22, 2014 5:22 PM GMT
    Wait till he is up for re election. Also will be interesting to see how this plays out with the people
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14351

    Apr 22, 2014 8:05 PM GMT
    Sweetooth saidThis is legal?!?!?!?!
    You Americans are so much more redneck than I previously thought.
    It is mostly the Southern States that allow this backward shit because the NARROW MINDED BIBLE THUMPING SCREWBALLS control their state GOP organizations and these states are primarily red, republican.
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    Apr 24, 2014 12:05 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    Sweetooth saidThis is legal?!?!?!?!
    You Americans are so much more redneck than I previously thought.
    It is mostly the Southern States that allow this backward shit because the NARROW MINDED BIBLE THUMPING SCREWBALLS control their state GOP organizations and these states are primarily red, republican.


    One easy way to determine if a state is redneck is to find out how many men named Earl live there. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 24, 2014 12:35 PM GMT
    okonomiyaki said
    roadbikeRob said
    Sweetooth saidThis is legal?!?!?!?!
    You Americans are so much more redneck than I previously thought.
    It is mostly the Southern States that allow this backward shit because the NARROW MINDED BIBLE THUMPING SCREWBALLS control their state GOP organizations and these states are primarily red, republican.

    One easy way to determine if a state is redneck is to find out how many men named Earl live there. icon_biggrin.gif

    LOL! And if it's the Mayor whose name is Earl, as in this case, the Bible replaces the town charter, along with county & state law.

    And BTW, although the Chief of Police may have no protection as an LGBT person against dismissal on sexual orientation grounds, other procedures in the firing process may have been violated. Looks like the town council and perhaps a good percentage of the voters are not happy with the Mayor's unilateral action.
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    Apr 24, 2014 2:52 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidAnd BTW, although the Chief of Police may have no protection as an LGBT person against dismissal on sexual orientation grounds, other procedures in the firing process may have been violated. Looks like the town council and perhaps a good percentage of the voters are not happy with the Mayor's unilateral action.


    So much so, this incident precipitated an attempt to change the form-of-government in Latta.

    http://www.carolinalive.com/news/story.aspx?id=1034032#.U1kiavldVME

    WPDE News Channel 15State Law gives him the authority as Mayor in a town where the government is a Strong Mayor Weak Council to fire and hire personnel with the exception of the town attorney, town judge or clerk-treasurer, Bullard said...

    Latta's current form of government keeps town council members from voting to re-instate Moore as the town's police chief.

    Council voted last week to hold a referendum June 24 asking voters to decide if the form of government should be changed to a council-run system.


    The article includes Bullard's standing-his-ground responses, insisting he can't reveal his reasons for firing the Chief without her signing a release form.

    WPDE News Channel 15"If Chief Crystal Moore would sign a release granting us, meaning the town, the authority to release the reasons for her dismissal, then and only then can I talk about the specifics of it. Now, if there's nothing to hide then she'll sign that release and I can talk with you openly about the reasoning."

    He said he would have never fired Moore if it wasn't justified or in his authority as Mayor of Latta.

    "I have never fired an employee that it wasn't justified. And that it wasn't in the best interest of those I served. I try to treat everybody the same."


    Try harder, Mayor!
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    Apr 24, 2014 3:21 PM GMT
    http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/lattas-mayor-fired-the-police-chief-but-town-council-is-fighting-back/Content?oid=4908655

    Charleston City Paper (an alternative newspaper, not the main rag)A third possibility is that Moore's firing is just another example of small-town politics gone awry. At the time of her firing, Moore had questioned Bullard's wisdom in hiring a man with a record of reckless driving to the Parks and Recreation Department, and Bullard had demanded to have the final say on a pending female hire to the Police Department.

    Whatever the reason, Latta's full-time police force shrunk by 10 percent with Moore's firing. It's Lt. Derrick Cartwright, the temporary stand-in for Moore, who eventually comes in to pick up the ringing front desk phone. When he finishes talking on the phone, he doesn't have much to say to the press.

    "He's got us pretty frozen with the media right now," Cartwright says, twitching his head toward Mayor Bullard's office. "But definitely do your story."


    Charleston City PaperHere are the mayor's complaints against the police chief, as reported by TV news station WBTW:

    1. Running background checks without properly signed authorization

    2. Failure to report to supervisor about problems in other departments

    3. Using office/position to seek revenge against another for personal affront

    4. Questioning authority of supervisor

    5. Questioning authority of mayor to look at job applications for potential employees

    6. Failure to maintain order, contributing to disorder at council meetings

    7. Contacting news media to help bring about disorder and disruption to the town of Latta


    Charleston City PaperWhen it comes to the seven formal complaints against the former chief, Councilwoman Williams is calling bullshit — although she would never use such crude language. First of all, she says, town code clearly states that if the mayor wants to fire an employee, he must bring the matter before Council for a final decision. Second of all, the mayor's reprimands are bogus.

    Item 6 is nonsense, Williams says. The mayor is responsible for maintaining order at meetings; police only get involved if the mayor requests their help.

    Item 7 stems from a Feb. 25 memo that Bullard sent to all town employees stating that "any public comments relative to any public situation or controversy is not acceptable and will not be tolerated." The reasoning behind Items 2 and 3 remains unclear.

    Items 1, 4, and 5 appear to refer to a dispute between the mayor and the chief about some recent hirings. Early in his administration, Bullard gave Moore the go-ahead to hire two police officers, but when Moore tried to hire a third officer — a female this time — Bullard demanded that he be allowed to interview the candidate, according to Moore.

    In February, Moore questioned Bullard's decision to hire a man named Vontray Sellers, a former rec department employee in the neighboring city of Dillon, as director of the Latta Parks and Recreation Department without conducting a background check. Lt. Cartwright ran his own background check on Sellers, and Moore conducted an investigation that found Sellers was driving a town-owned van with a suspended driver's license. Latta police arrested Sellers, who is now awaiting a jury trial in the case.


    Link to that last story, from February:

    http://www.wbtw.com/story/24811629/latta-mayor-hires-recreational-director-without-background-check

    Back to the CP article:

    Charleston City PaperAround 1:30 a.m. on June 30, 2013, seven-and-a-half months before taking a position with Latta's recreation department, Dillon Parks and Recreation Department Athletic Program Coordinator Vontray Sellers ran over a large crape myrtle and crashed his car into a ditch. He abandoned the vehicle and walked to the Dillon Parks and Recreation Department, where police found him walking out of a women's bathroom wiping his face with paper towels.

    Sellers, who the officers noted smelled strongly of alcohol, said he had been listening to his police scanner in the middle of the night when he heard that the fire department had been dispatched to some fields managed by the Parks and Recreation Department. Hoping to catch some vandals who had been stealing city-owned flags, Sellers says he decided to drive over to the scene. Along the way, he said he lost control of his car, and some acquaintances who were riding with him spilled alcoholic beverages on his car seats.

    When asked about the strong boozy smell coming off of his body, Sellers told Dillon police officers that, while taking morphine pills for pancreatitis, he had drunk a fifth of liquor and then driven up the road to buy two pints of brandy from a bootlegger.

    After Sellers failed a field sobriety test, police arrested him on suspicion of driving under the influence and drove him to the jail, where he fell asleep and began drooling during a 20-minute observation period, then refused to blow into a Breathalyzer when asked. He was charged with DUI, although he later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of reckless driving.

    At the time Sellers was hired to run Latta's recreation department in February, Mayor Bullard was either unaware of Sellers' bootleg brandy bender, or else he did not think it was pertinent to the hiring of a man whose responsibilities would include driving a town-owned van.

    The fight over Sellers' hiring took on new shades of irony two months later when Bullard fired Chief Moore — particularly after Town Council member Jarett Taylor released to the media an audio recording of the mayor saying he'd trust a heavy drinker before he trusted a gay person.


    Charleston City PaperMoore says she was surprised earlier in the year when Mayor Bullard demanded to interview the woman she wanted to hire at the police department. "He got real upset and started yelling and telling me to go get her application," Moore says. "And I said, 'Mayor, I'm not here to cause a problem; I'm flexible. I just want to know what has changed within a week-and-a-half.' And he slammed his hands down and said, 'I'm gonna tell you I have the power to hire and fire in this town.'"

    Moore has exercised that power. But for some Latta residents, including a few on Town Council, a mayor who would choose to hire a man like Vontray Sellers and fire a woman like Crystal Moore is not worthy to call the shots anymore.
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    Apr 24, 2014 4:36 PM GMT
    dayumm said

    "I have never fired an employee that it wasn't justified. And that it wasn't in the best interest of those I served. I try to treat everybody the same."

    Try harder, Mayor!

    He just got elected and took office this year! 2014! 4 months ago! How many employees has he fired in that brief time?
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    Apr 24, 2014 8:21 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    dayumm said

    "I have never fired an employee that it wasn't justified. And that it wasn't in the best interest of those I served. I try to treat everybody the same."

    Try harder, Mayor!

    He just got elected and took office this year! 2014! 4 months ago! How many employees has he fired in that brief time?



    I asked that very same thing aloud! I figure he was probably a used-car salesman or something, dragging his private-sector human resource history into his public one.

    EDIT: Okay, not a used-car salesman. But I was close!

    http://www.bullardsauction.com/

    How many employees does an auctioneer need?
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    Apr 25, 2014 1:42 AM GMT
    dayumm said
    Art_Deco said
    dayumm said

    "I have never fired an employee that it wasn't justified. And that it wasn't in the best interest of those I served. I try to treat everybody the same."

    Try harder, Mayor!

    He just got elected and took office this year! 2014! 4 months ago! How many employees has he fired in that brief time?

    I asked that very same thing aloud! I figure he was probably a used-car salesman or something, dragging his private-sector human resource history into his public one.

    EDIT: Okay, not a used-car salesman. But I was close!

    http://www.bullardsauction.com/

    How many employees does an auctioneer need?

    I wondered if he was really referring to private employees he's fired, prior to becoming Mayor. But those are 2 different things.

    Public employees tend to have degrees of tenure protection that private employees do not. The reason isn't evil unionism, as Republicans would assert, since most city employees in a small town aren't unionized. And seldom a Police Chief.

    Rather, it's to prevent wholesale firings, every time a new regime is voted into office. Public employees would have no job security if they could be summarily fired every time a new Mayor took office. And then he or she would appoint political cronies to the vacancies.

    You'd lose qualified & experienced people, replaced by a different band of political hacks at every election. And so many towns have procedures in place that require a firing be for cause, and be subject to some kind of review process outside the control of 1 person, like a Mayor.

    That's one of the things that may have been violated here.
  • KissTheSky

    Posts: 1981

    Apr 27, 2014 9:58 PM GMT
    This sad case highlights one of the main reasons conservative Republicans have no business being elected to government leadership positions: they care about ideology more than competence.
    When this bigoted jackass gleefully says he would rather hire "a drunk" than the competent woman he fired for being a lesbian, he's also saying that he doesn't care if the town has a competent police chief, as long as the conservative bigots are not upset.
    Most intelligent people think that keeping their community safe from crime is more important than policing the private romantic lives of law enforcement officers.
    But most intelligent people are not conservative Republicans.
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    Apr 28, 2014 9:59 PM GMT
    http://www.scnow.com/news/local/article_0fb45e4a-cd86-11e3-8692-0017a43b2370.html

    SCNowLatta Town Council voted last week to stop Mayor Earl Bullard from hiring a new police chief to replace the beloved former chief he recently fired, but the vote apparently hasn’t deterred Bullard from trying.

    Councilman Jarett Taylor said council’s vote this week was to stop any hiring of a new chief for at least 60 days, which falls after the June 24 referendum in which voters will decide whether to change the town’s form of government from strong mayor-weak council to strong council-weak mayor. Taylor and other members of council said the change would allow them to reverse Bullard’s firing of former Latta Police Chief Crystal Moore and reinstate her.


    SCNow(Latta, SC Councilman Taylor) “We can’t stop him from taking applications, but I don’t know who would want to apply for the position. It’s a fairly toxic environment, and the council is behind Chief Crystal Moore,” he said. “I sure wouldn’t quit my day job to take this one, because if this change in the form of government passes, he or she’s only going to be in the job a few days. According to the town’s ordinances, the chief will be working at the pleasure of the town, and I think the pleasure of the town is behind Crystal Moore. If the referendum passes, the town council will be rehiring Chief Moore.”

    ...(Crystal) Moore has filed a grievance with the town, and she said she will continue to fight for her job.

    “I filed a grievance on Monday and I haven’t heard a word from them, neither has my lawyer,” Moore said. “I’ve had a job since I was 9 years old. This is the first time I’ve ever been in this kind of predicament, the first time I’ve ever been without insurance. I’m past stressed. My whole family is. I’m just constantly worrying. My last check, which was only half of a check, went in today. Thankfully, the community has started a fund for me and hopefully, that will get me through until I can get things straight and get back to work.”
  • metta

    Posts: 39118

    Jun 28, 2014 5:34 AM GMT
    S.C. town reinstates lesbian police chief after voters take away mayor’s power


    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/06/s-c-town-reinstates-lesbian-police-chief-after-voters-take-away-mayors-power/
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    Jun 28, 2014 6:08 AM GMT
    metta8 saidS.C. town reinstates lesbian police chief after voters take away mayor’s power


    http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/06/s-c-town-reinstates-lesbian-police-chief-after-voters-take-away-mayors-power/




    I thought that guy Earl looked familiar, here piggy, piggy icon_rolleyes.gif


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