COURTDALE BOROUGH, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The longtime police chief of Courtdale Borough, Chris Matello, has been suspended for two weeks without pay for making an inappropriate Facebook post.
The Facebook post read: “Just start shooting….This will end quick!!!!! This is making me sick!!!!!!!”
Matello told Eyewitness News that while he did write the post on Facebook, he insists he was not trying to incite violence and was instead reacting to civil unrest across the country.
“I was reacting to the violence and the riots across the country. I am not against the protestors. I was not trying to incite violence. I did not mean that people should be shot,” Matello said.
Regardless of the intentions, a Courtdale council committee headed by the mayor voted to suspend Chief Matello for two weeks without pay.
“We suspended the Chief because we felt the Facebook post was inappropriate given the current atmosphere in the country,” Mayor Dorothy Duesler said.
John Chismar, a Courtdale resident was bringing recycling materials to the borough building when he was shown the post by Eyewitness News.
“Maybe the way he did it, could have some question to it. But a short statement like that you can’t get your meaning you know?” Chismar said.
Chief Matello will be suspended without pay until Friday of next week. He’s been Chief in Courtdale for about 15 years.
The solicitor for the borough tells Eyewitness News that Chief Matello had the option to challenge his suspension but opted not to take that step.