Indefinite Suspension for Chief Kessler

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GILBERTON -- Borough leaders in Gilberton decided whether a controversial police chief on suspension would be allowed back on the job.

Chief Mark Kessler has gotten national attention back in July for the profanity-filled videos he has posted online which show him firing automatic weapons.

As his 30 day unpaid suspension was set to expire at Midnight Friday, council voted to extend that suspension until a disciplinary hearing could be held.

Flanked by borough attorneys, Gilberton Mayor Mary Lou Hannon read a brief letter sent by suspended Police Chief Mark Kessler`s attorney, requesting that his suspension be extended.

“I received notification from my client, Mark Kessler, at approximately 4:06 p.m. that he would be willing to extend his unpaid suspension so that he and I may attend the newly scheduled meeting,” read Hannon.

Council was supposed to meet with Kessler for a disciplinary hearing as his 30-day suspension without pay was set to expire at midnight.

Kessler`s attorney could not attend that hearing and asked that his client`s suspension be extended until that meeting could be held.

“There was supposed to be a meeting this morning at nine o`clock, but attorney Joseph Nahas was unable to make that and that will be rescheduled,” said Hannon.

During the quick meeting, council voted unanimously to extend that suspension which was handed down one month ago, at a meeting on July 31.

Kessler was disciplined after he posted a profanity laced video on YouTube, showing him firing off several fully automatic weapons.

Council said those guns are borough property, and he used them for non-borough business without permission and was given that 30-day suspension.

The borough has used state police since then and said it will continue using state police to cover the borough as Chief Kessler remains suspended.

However some said Kessler should be fired immediately.

“Someone has to stop the intimidation and make sure this guy is how should I say it, is pointed out as a guy who incites violence and basically off of his ever-loving rocker,” said political and community activist Gene Stilp.

The Gilberton Borough Council voted to continue police Chief Mark Kessler's suspension indefinitely on Friday.

The indefinite suspension will stay in place until Kessler's lawyer and the borough's lawyers can meet.