HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The videotape of Marcus Brown, first shown on abc27 last week, is blurry and grainy. It shows the acting state police commissioner removing signs from public property in Hampden Township, Cumberland County and putting them into his state-issued SUV.
The fuzzy video has prompted very clear and straightforward calls for Governor Wolf to recall Brown as his nominee.
The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, which had remained neutral on the growing controversy, got off the sidelines Monday afternoon with a harshly worded letter calling for Brown’s removal. The letter sent to the governor said the association which represents rank-and-file troopers has no confidence in Wolf’s pick.
It said, in part, “Mr. Brown gave a speech to our department’s commissioned officers and stated they will be held to a higher standard. I ask of you, who is going to hold Mr. Brown to that same higher standard?”
Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed issued a release Monday saying his office is investigating whether Brown broke the law when he removed signs that were critical of him for wearing the state police uniform when he didn’t graduate from its academy. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) had no opinion on whether Brown may have been set up by the former trooper who planted the signs and then took the video of the acting commissioner. But Corman reiterated that either way Brown should go.
“To go on someone else’s property, to do what he did because it bothered him, for the top cop that’s just not good enough,” Corman said. “You know, you gotta make good decisions.”
While the drumbeat to dump Brown grows louder around Harrisburg, Governor Wolf is standing by his pick and trying to quiet the critics.
“What he, Brown, did was acted as a father and he regrets what he did and he apologized,” Wolf said. “I think that was the right thing to do. I’d like to move on.”
But moving on likely means the story lingers on.
Corman, speaking Monday afternoon at a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg, said he doubts there’s enough votes in the Senate right now to confirm Brown. But he promised the governor that Brown will go through the process, including a hearing and an up-or-down vote. The hearing is not yet scheduled, but if it matches the tone of the letter from state troopers, it could get ugly.
The recall letter to Wolf said Brown’s actions have “become an embarrassment to your office, our department and all rank-and-file troopers.”