LATTA, S.C. (WBTW) — Five Latta police officers have resigned in addition to Police Chief Josh Holt, who turned in a two weeks notice on Friday, he confirmed to News13.
Holt said four full-time officers and one part-time officer have turned in two weeks notices recently. He said there are four full-time and two part-time officers remaining with the department. A reason for the resignations was not provided.
Dillon County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Chief Deputy Jamie Hamilton said the sheriff’s office is in contact with the local government in Latta and is willing to assist in any way in responding to 911 calls.
This comes just a week after town attorney Janet Paschal resigned amid ongoing controversy revolving around the November mayoral election.
The town has been locked in a contentious battle about the mayoral election due to a residency dispute ongoing for months.
Mayor-elect Henry “Robbie Coward” was blocked from being sworn in. That was lifted in mid January. The residency challenge came from Teresa Mason, who also ran and lost to him.
In a hearing Dec. 11, the Latta Municipal Election Commission found that Coward doesn’t live in the Town of Latta, as required by South Carolina law, and did not live in the town for at least 30 days before the election, according to documents.
Documents show that Coward hasn’t given up his other residency, which is in Dillon. After the hearing, the commission overturned the results of the election due to Coward being ineligible for the position.
Coward appealed the election commission’s decision to overturn the results of the election. In the appeal, he claimed because he was allowed to legally vote in the election for mayor, he is allowed to be a candidate in that same race.
On July 14, she said the town council decided not to follow state supreme court case law stating “the election cannot be a ‘de novo election’ after the protest is concluded,” and that leads her “to believe the Town of Latta will be in ongoing litigation for the foreseeable future.”
“It is regrettable that someone who has been found to never have even resided in the Town can cause such an upheaval in the Town,” she wrote.