The town of Latta’s police chief says that she has been fired from her post for the second time in just over two years.
Crystal Moore posted on Facebook Thursday that she had been fired by the administrator of the small Dillon County community less than 20 miles northeast of Florence. “I am shocked and angered especially in light of my cancer diagnosis and the struggle that has put me and my family through,” she wrote. “But this won’t stop me from serving the people of Latta or Dillon County. This is a tough time for all of us, but I know justice will prevail. Please keep me and my family in your prayers during this difficult time.”
Moore had gotten brief national attention in 2014 after then-mayor Earl Bullard fired her for refusing to sign seven reprimands he had given her. But Moore’s allies at the time argued she had been fired because she is lesbian. A town councilman even provided audio recordings that showed Bullard explaining he did not want Moore in the chief’s job because of her “lifestyle.” Voters later that year passed a referendum giving hiring and firing power to the town council, largely in response to the firing. Town council members rehired Moore later that summer.
However, one of Moore’s allies in 2014 is the one behind her dismissal this time. Town Administrator Jarrett Taylor told the Associated Press he had become increasingly frustrated with problems in the department. He did not give specifics Friday, but the town reprimanded and suspended Moore for five days last month after she did not inform supervisors of a sexual harassment claim involving a town employee and after she checked an employee’s disciplinary records without permission, among other issues reported by the AP.
But Moore’s attorney insisted that the sexual assault case had gone through Taylor’s own office first and that the police chief was fired because she refused to sign a statement Taylor wanted on behalf of the accused employee.
Moore has been running for the Dillon County sheriff’s election this November. She previously announced she would continue her run despite saying doctors had diagnosed her with sarcoma. She had been confident about beating the disease.