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Hearing Set To Decide Chief’s Fate

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GILBERTON -- It is now up to borough council to decide whether a suspended police chief who put videos of himself online swearing and shooting guns gets to keep his job in Schuylkill County.

Gilberton's police chief will likely know by Thursday night if his online rants will be enough to get him fired.

Borough council is set to vote on his position, but before the meeting the chief and his attorney met with council members for a disciplinary hearing

The attorney for an embattled police chief in Schuylkill County predicts the officer will likely be fired.

Gilberton's police chief Mark Kessler grabbed the national spotlight back in July when he first posted a vulgarity-laced video while firing borough-owned automatic weapons.

Borough officials met Thursday morning to go over the allegations of insubordination against Kessler.

"This is a smoke and mirror allegation that the borough, that they tried to lump into a move, in my opinion, for termination," said Kessler's attorney Joe Nahas.

Kessler heads a national group known as the Constitutional Security Force.   Its stated goal is to protect the Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment.

Members supporting Kessler showed up at his hearing with their guns.

"It's been inspiring and I keep on kicking and see what comes out of it," Kessler said.

Others think Kessler is a disgrace and that sparked this debate.

"I think this gentleman should be fired. He doesn't represent a majority of Pennsylvanians," said community activist Gene Stilp.

"You're a liar, mister," said Larry Cairo of Gilberton. "You don't even know him and you don't even know him and you're bad-mouthing him. A hypercritical liar is what you are."

Kessler said if he gets fired as Gilberton's police chief, he'll probably be spending a lot of time running his Constitutional Security Force.