The Pennsylvania police chief under fire for making profanity-laced YouTube videos showing him firing guns and berating "libtards" has been suspended for 30 days without pay.
Gilberton Borough Council voted 5-1 on Wednesday to suspend Mark Kessler for using "borough property for non-borough purposes without prior borough permission," referring to the weapons used in the videos, which Kessler had donated to the borough himself.
“[Expletive] all you libtards out there, as a matter of fact, read my shirt,” he said in one video, turning to show the back of his shirt, which read, "Liberals take it in the a--." In another video, he fired at a target he named Nancy Pelosi.
In another video, Kessler told those upset by the profanity to "go [expletive] yourself" as he fired automatic weapons belonging to the borough.
In a Facebook post which has since been deleted, Kessler called for all "true Americans," militia members and "oath keepers" to rebel against "a tyrannical county government," saying Democrats are the country's true enemy, and it's "time we clean these antiamerican thugs from office."
When the videos came to light, Mayor Mary Lou Hannon initially said that Chief Kessler was within his rights, saying the city would "not take action to quash free speech."
But the council received a petition Wednesday with 20,000 signatures calling for Kessler's termination. Outside the council hearing, armed gun-rights activists protested.
Kessler, who is also a member of the North Schuylkill School Board, vowed to return to work in 30 days, telling reporters "I make no apologies and I have no regrets."
He has since updated his website to say city council members are "conspiring" to fire him during his "unjust" suspension, saying they will use the time to make up any reason to lie to get him fired.
But any investigation into the videos, according to former Scranton Police Chief Dan Duffy, who now directs a police academy, will undermine the police chief's credibility as a witness in court.
"This is exactly what a law enforcement officer should not be doing," Duffy said, adding that he now uses the videos as a teaching tool in his classes. "I could tell you he would never be working for me, that`s for certain."