Police Chief Who Threatened To Shoot “Libtards” In YouTube Videos To Be Fired

GILBERTON, PA &#8211 It’s not the end of Mark Kessler as borough police chief here. But it likely was the beginning of the end.

The council voted 6-1 tonight to suspend their potty-mouthed police chief, pending his termination. The language of the motion, made by Mayor Mary Lou Hannon, was steeped in legalese, and she was flanked by borough attorneys on both sides.

But the meaning seemed clear enough, even if borough officials wouldn’t explain:

Kessler, whose shoot ’em up Internet videos vaulted him to media notoriety and cult-hero status in Second Amendment circles, is marked for termination.

But the borough can’t legally pull the trigger just yet.

This, because Kessler has the right to a public hearing over his proposed firing. And the embattled chief, suspended without pay since July 31 for his politically caustic, profanity-laced videos, means to exercise it.

“There will be a public hearing,” Kessler’s attorney, Joseph Nahas confirmed to the media following the brief meeting.

The hearing, which will feature a newly appointed ‘independent’ attorney as hearing master, could occur as soon as ten days.

But would it be held in the cramped borough building that doubles as the coal town’s sewage treatment plant? The sparse space can barely contain the council, much less the dozens of media the Kessler saga has been attracting lately. Even Fox News was there tonight.

For Gilberton Council’s part, all members were mum following the meeting, with their hired legal guns shouting no comment and labeling the issue as a personnel matter.

But Kessler and his attorney were only too happy to talk. They held court for the media and about a dozen gun-carrying Kessler supporters who see the outspoken chief prone to producing videos featuring plenty of politics and automatic weapon fire as a patron saint.

Kessler was soft-spoken but unapologetic in interviews, saying he would do it all over again. Indeed, technically Kessler was never suspended or marked for firing for his controversial videos, including one that took aim at clown targets named after the first names of two council members.

Gilberton suspended its chief over misuse of borough property — the automatic components of the weapons Kessler owns that he donated to Gilberton — and then used in the videos. Those automatic components have since been turned over to the ATF, following Kessler’s suspension, Nahas said.

And Gilberton has since come up with a list of other infractions against Kessler. Ahead of the vote today, the borough held a 90-minute, closed-door disciplinary hearing on the charges. Nahas said he countered, debunked or challenged every last one.

Still, that didn’t prevent the council from moving one step closer to firing their chief with tonight’s vote. And the same body will sit in judgment of Kessler following the public hearing.

This fact led Nahas to brand the public hearing as a “kangaroo court” even before it can be scheduled. Yet both Nahas and Kessler will participate — or at least go through the motions.

But the matter of Kessler’s employment and his now-likely firing seems headed for a real courtroom — and soon. Both Nahas and Kessler have vowed full appeals to protect the chief’s interests in his $33,000 a year employment contract that runs through Dec. 2015.

No, it’s not over in Gilberton.

And even if this marks the beginning of the end, the last act of Mark Kessler as Gilberton’s chief could be a long one.

And the plot is about to go from a cop movie to a legal thriller.

From Pennlive.com

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