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Gilberton council holds termination hearing for Mark Kessler, controversial police chief

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 10 2013 02:30:02 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 10 2013 05:22:42 PM CDT

The American Civil Liberties Union appeared in a Philadelphia court on Thursday on behalf of an Allentown man it said officials detained on false illegal immigration charges.

GILBERTON, Pa. -

Could it be a controversial police chief's last stand? 

A termination hearing for suspended Gilberton, Schuylkill Co., police Chief Mark Kessler was scheduled Thursday night. 

Kessler was put on notice three weeks ago, and he could officially get the boot at the Gilberton Borough Council meeting.

Kessler gained national attention for his profanity-laced gun rights videos posted on YouTube. The recordings, made off-duty, got the tough-talking cop suspended from his job nearly 10 weeks ago.

"A motion to discipline Chief Kessler for use of borough property for non-borough purposes without prior borough permission," council members said in July.

But Thursday night's termination hearing will likely focus on unrelated job performance issues.  Kessler's attorney told 69 News the allegations include misuse of borough property, neglect of official duties, and failure to turn over weapons to the borough.

"They stated that my client had misused borough property. They stated that my client had particularly purchased tires that he did not have permission to purchase," explained Joseph Nahas, Kessler's attorney.

If council members vote to fire Kessler, Nahas has promised to take the issue to court, saying he and Kessler will file a wrongful termination lawsuit.

"My father always told me you can only kick a dog so long before it bites," shared Kessler.  "And I'm telling you this boy has been kicked long enough."