Gilberton chief posts another video days before suspension ends
GILBERTON - A special meeting of Gilberton Borough Council on Friday could determine the continuing employment of borough police Chief Mark Kessler on the final day of his suspension.
Borough council will meet at 7 p.m. at the municipal building in Mahanoy Plane, a meeting held on the 30th day of his suspension by council on July 31. The suspension began Aug. 1.
On Tuesday evening, the seven members of borough council, Mayor Mary Lou Hannon and two attorneys from the law firm of Elliott Greenleaf & Dean attended an executive session, presumably to discuss the Kessler situation. On Aug. 14, borough council retained the law firm as special counsel to handle any legal matters involving Kessler. Executive sessions are closed to the public, though four people did stand outside during the meeting, all in support of Kessler.
On that same day, Kessler posted a new video on YouTube that was filmed in a remote area. Entitled "Chief kessler & Eric go shooting," the video runs 10 minutes, 28 seconds and shows Kessler with an AK-47, which he calls "Mr. Kalishnikov," referring the automatic rifle developed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics by Mikhail Kalashnikov after World War II.
The video begins with Kessler holding two similar posters with an angry-looking clown holding a very large wooden mallet, which Kessler called a "gavel." He calls the clown "Eric."
"Eric is a flaming libtard, alright, and Eric is a tyrant," said Kessler. "He likes to go around and strong-arm people and pretty much threaten. If he doesn't get his way, look out. Eric is going to meet a friend of mine."
The "friend" is the AK-47, which included a 40-round banana clip magazine.
Kessler identifies the clown as "Eric," but with no other name, but may be referring to borough council Vice President Eric Boxer, who supported Kessler's suspension at the July 31 meeting and said afterward that he would have preferred that Kessler was terminated from his position.
On his "Chief Mark Kessler" Facebook page, Kessler refers to Boxer as "The Thug," and council President Daniel Mallow as "The Tyrant."
In the video, Kessler goes off camera with the poster to set it up as a target. Kessler adds that the other poster is called "Danny."
When he returns, Kessler prepares the rifle for firing, stating, "Eric is all whacked out on bath salts back there. He's going all libtard crazy. I'm going to introduce Eric to my good friend here."
Kessler begins to fire in two-round bursts at the poster, which is off-camera. Kessler says before shooting, "Don't even give him a chance. Just light his f-----' --- up."
After firing the entire magazine clip, he reloads with another magazine and walks off camera toward the poster, and he fires the bullets in the second magazine, and then returns with only a section of what is left of the bullet-ridden poster.
"I'm sorry to say that all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Eric back together again. Poor Eric," said Kessler.
As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, the video had been viewed 8,592 times. It had also been shared through other YouTube accounts.
Boxer, Malloy and Kessler could not be reached for comment.