CONFLUENCE (KDKA) — A local police chief in Somerset County has resigned after a controversial picture of him surfaced on the Internet.
The picture of the Confluence police chief surfaced this week, and the chief was at first suspended without pay. But KDKA has learned that Police Chief Tom Keller has now resigned.
Confluence is a pretty little town banking on its spectacular scenery to bring in tourists to spend money.
So when a photo of Police Chief Tom Keller and a woman brandishing firearms appeared online, it wasn’t exactly the kind of “come on” that’s appreciated.
“In the winter, people get a little, what you call, cabin fever, you know. And they do goofy things,” said Confluence Mayor Allen Gyorko.
Keller was with the force for a dozen years, half of them as chief.
“I know that’s what hurts the community,” says Gyorko. “We’re a little distraught about it.”
Mayor Gyorko said Thursday that he had put Keller on unpaid administrative leave.
Showing a copy of the picture to Sherman Gary, who grew up in Confluence, found him speechless.
“It’s kind of embarrassing to me in a way,” said Gary. “Hate to see stuff like that being publicized, really do.”
On Facebook, the chief does respond to others comments, saying: “A friend that was at our house the whole night called and asked when we took this pic? I don’t remember.”
“This is on Facebook and it gets out to thousands,” Mayor Gyorko said.
Late Thursday, Chief Keller did call KDKA, saying that he “filed a complaint with state police this morning, that someone had hacked his Facebook page that was supposed to be private.”
He believes the hacker “is just trying to embarrass him.”
There is a cautionary tale here.
“That’s true, that’s very true,” says Mayor Gyorko, “but a lot of people don’t think before they do.”