Town Votes to Give Gun-Lovin' Police Chief the Boot

Council announced yesterday, but Kessler's lawyer will request public hearing
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Suggested by Ghille
Posted Sep 20, 2013 9:17 AM CDT

A small-town Pennsylvania police chief's profanity-laced Internet tirades about the Second Amendment and liberals have earned him a measure of notoriety—and now, his bosses intend, a pink slip. Gilberton Borough Council members said last night they plan to fire Mark Kessler, nearly two months after voting to suspend the only full-time member of the town's police force. Kessler, who's active in gun rights circles and started an armed group that critics call a private militia, posted videos of himself shooting borough-owned automatic weapons and cursing liberals and others who he said want to erode the constitutional right to bear arms.

Kessler said the decision was "no surprise." A closed-door disciplinary hearing earlier in the day had dwelled on unrelated allegations, including that Kessler used a state-administered program to buy discounted tires for his personal vehicle and made derogatory comments about borough officials. Kessler's attorney, Joseph Nahas, said the charges were trumped up to conceal the town's intent to fire Kessler over the videos and he'll request a public hearing. The council would then have to vote a second time to fire Kessler, who told reporters that he had been an excellent police chief and had nothing to apologize for. He said he'd broken no laws, but wanted to "wake up the people who are independents, to say, 'We've had enough and something needs to change.'" (More Mark Kessler stories.)

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