Hearing postponed for foul-mouthed Pa. chief

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
GILBERTON, Pa. (AP) - A northeastern Pennsylvania police chief suspended for posting videos in which he fired borough-owned automatic weapons while shouting obscenities will wait a little longer to learn his fate.

In an Aug. 6, 2013 photo, Gilberton Police Chief Mark Kessler speaks during a news conference at Nahas' office in Frackville, Pa. Kessler says he expects to be fired for posting incendiary videos in which he rants obscenely about the Second Amendment and liberals while spraying machine-gun fire with borough-owned weapons. (AP Photo/Republican-Herald, Jacqueline Dormer)

GILBERTON, Pa. (AP) - A northeastern Pennsylvania police chief suspended for posting videos in which he fired borough-owned automatic weapons while shouting obscenities will wait a little longer to learn his fate.

Chief Mark Kessler's disciplinary hearing had been planned for Friday, but was postponed because of a scheduling conflict, said his attorney, Joseph Nahas. He said it will most likely be held next week.

Nahas and Kessler himself have both said they expect the chief to be fired.

Kessler's pro-gun videos have garnered hundreds of thousands of views online. They show him shouting about the Second Amendment and liberals while spraying machine-gun fire.

Kessler acknowledges the videos are incendiary but says they are designed to draw attention to what he views as the erosion of Second Amendment and other constitutional rights.

Friday was supposed to be the last day of Kessler's 30-day suspension over what the Gilberton council has said was unauthorized use of the weapons. Nahas said Kessler has agreed that his suspension will be extended.

Civil servants facing termination are entitled to a due-process hearing at which they are permitted to respond to the accusations against them.

Gilberton borough council had been scheduled to meet Friday night, and a decision on the chief's fate had been widely expected. Because Kessler's hearing was postponed, that decision will have to wait.

"The meeting is going to take place, but because there was no meeting this morning, there are going to be different items on the agenda," John Dean, an attorney for the borough, said Friday afternoon.


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