South Carolina Mayor Fires Lesbian Police Chief

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 10:22 PM

By Cathy Burke

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A South Carolina mayor fired his 20-year veteran chief of police, who is a lesbian, reportedly declaring in a recorded phone call he trusted drunks more than homosexuals.

Latta, S.C., Police Department Chief Crystal Moore, the town's first female top cop who hasn't faced disciplinary action in her two decade career, was axed Tuesday after getting seven reprimands from newly elected Mayor Earl Bullard, reports said.

According to the British newspaper the Daily Mail, the reprimands related to a parks official who'd operated a city vehicle with a suspended license.

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But one city council member recorded a homophobic rant by the mayor and provided it to WBTW, Salon.com reports.

“I would much rather have.. and I will say this to anybody’s face… somebody who drank and drank too much taking care of my child than I [would want] somebody whose lifestyle is questionable around children," Salon reports the mayor said on the recording.

"Because that ain’t the damn way it’s supposed to be. You know... you got people out there — I’m telling you buddy — I don’t agree with some of the lifestyles that I see portrayed and I don’t say anything because that is the way they want to live, but I am not going to let my child be around [that]. I’m not going to let two women stand up there and hold hands and let my child be aware of it. And I’m not going to see them do it with two men neither. I’m not going to do it. Because that ain’t the way the world works."

Before a town meeting Thursday, Moore told WBTW she was shocked at what some people charged was a mayoral vendetta.

"I can't believe that we still have no equal rights," she said. "That's the biggest issue. I've been harassed, intimidated. This is the first time it's been this public. I'd tried living a quiet decent life and do[ing] what I'm supposed to."

The city council, saying the mayor can only fire a police chief with their prior approval, voted for a referendum to weaken the mayor's power, WBTW reports.

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