Gilberton Council Starts Termination Proceedings, Reactions Are Mixed

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GILBERTON -- Mark Kessler said he is being persecuted by Gilberton council members who have "a death grip" on the community.

Thursday night, Gilberton Borough council voted to start termination procecedings of the controversial police chief.

Earlier this year, Kessler started a firestorm of controversy after posting a video of himself swearing and firing weapons on the internet.

Some said council members are making the right move.

"I think this nightmare for Gilberton, for Schuylkill County and for Pennsylvania is going to be over, and I think that's important," said Gene Stilp of Dauphin County, an outspoken critic of Kessler.

Some people who live in the small Schuylkill County borough are relieved Kessler may soon be out as police chief.

Bob Cook was eating peanuts in front of the borough building because he called the meeting a circus.

"His credibility is completely shot as a police officer, so I want a cop that can do the job. I'm not saying he can't, but I want someone who can be credible all the time, and Mark has ruined his own credibility to pursue his own agenda," said Cook of Gilberton.

Others disagreed. Several men, many from out of the area, came armed with weapons to show their support for Kessler at Thursday night's special meeting.

"It's injust, unjust I should say. I mean, he expressed his rights, yeah, it was a little out there, I mean I don't think anyone will deny that, but things are going on," said a man who identified himself as Jay from Montgomery County.

"If if that was me, I'd be totally upset and I'd do some lawsuits, pursue some lawsuits to get some money for his family," said James from Hazleton.

Kessler's attorney said they will be asking for a hearing on the council's decision.