The termination hearing of Gilberton police Chief Mark Kessler came to an impromptu stop Thursday evening when a handgun from one of his supporters fell out from its holster.
Kessler’s YouTube videos where he said gay slurs about council members and used his “libtard” catchphrase to speak of an anti-gun group landed him in hot water and led to his suspension July 31. Videos also showed him shooting automatic weapons while screaming profanities about liberals and the Second Amendment, according to Phily.com.
The borough council suspended Kessler, who has his own YouTube show, “The Chief Kessler Show,” indefinitely from his job but later moved to fire him.
Thursday’s hearing came to a startling stop when the handgun clattered onto the concrete floor directly behind Kessler and his lawyer. The supporter was asked to leave the crowded hearing room.
Kessler’s attorney said officials were concerned for the safety of the 40 plus people in the small room.
“We’re in a very small room. It’s made of concrete. If a gun were to be chambered and land on concrete like it just did, someone can be injured,” Joseph Nahas, Kessler’s lawyer said.
Nahas told the media last month that the borough has brought charges against his client that he can easily nullify.
Some of those charges against Kessler are that he didn’t fill out government mandated crime data forms, used a law enforcement discount to get tires on his personal vehicle, failed to turn over borough weapons upon request, destroyed borough property and disrespected council members.
The borough began its case Thursday with its first witness, Mayor Mary Lou Hannon, who at first defended Kessler posting videos, saying that it was not the borough’s business what he did in his personal time.
But the two-hour hearing came to a stop soon after Nahas began his cross-examination thanks to the fallen handgun.
Present in the hearing were both borough supporters and supporters for the police chief.
“Kessler is America’s number one hero right now,” Bil Harris, of Waynesboro, Franklin County told The Morning Call. “He makes me so proud it ain’t even funny.”
Gene Stilp, an activist from Dauphin County begged to differ. “I came to support Borough Council and [stand up] to the intimidation and incitement of violence by this Kessler character,” he said.
No date has been scheduled for the hearing to continue.
Sources: MyPhilly.com, The Morning Call