HARRISBURG - Gov. Wolf said Friday that he stands by his embattled nominee to lead the Pennsylvania State Police.
The Democratic governor's comments came as acting Commissioner Marcus Brown has become mired in another controversy after he was caught on video this week taking down roadside signs near his home that were critical of him.
Wolf, who was in Philadelphia on Friday, told reporters that Brown did the right thing by apologizing for removing the signs, which Brown said were posted near his home and could be seen by his children.
"He was acting as a father, and he was upset with what he saw, and he's apologized," Wolf said, adding that Brown was qualified to be the state's top cop.
Also buoying Brown were revelations that the local police chief investigating him for taking the signs had posted critical opinions of Brown on social media in recent months.
Brown was captured on video Wednesday removing the two signs near his house in a suburb of Harrisburg.
Since Wolf announced his nomination, Brown has faced scrutiny for wearing the State Police uniform despite not having attended the state's Police Academy. The two critical signs read, "Marcus Brown didn't earn it!" and "Marcus Brown don't wear it!"
The signs were placed along a roadway in Hampden Township, according to Hampden Police Chief Steven Junkin. They reportedly were put there by a retired trooper.
Brown can be seen on the video taking down the signs and placing them in his car. Brown later acknowledged that he had "made a mistake and an error in judgment" in removing them, and that he was reacting to an invasion of his family's privacy.
In an interview Thursday, Junkin said that the matter was under investigation and that his department would turn over its findings to Cumberland County District Attorney David J. Freed to decide whether Brown's actions warranted charges.
Junkin also had said a person caught tampering with signs could be charged with theft by unlawful taking or disposition, a misdemeanor, although it was unclear whether the property where the signs were posted was public or not.
But late Friday, a Facebook post by Junkin on Jan. 31 became public. In it, Junkin, a retired state police captain, said he would "do everything in my power" to see that Brown wouldn't wear the agency's gray uniform.
"The police chief's comments are concerning," said Wolf spokesman Jeff Sheridan, "and we are monitoring the entire situation closely."
Junkin's Facebook post was first reported by PennLive-the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
Reached for comment Friday, Junkin acknowledged writing the post, but he said he did not believe it precluded his department from conducting the investigation. He also noted that Freed's office would decide whether to charge.
Freed could not be reached for comment Friday.
Junkin said he wrote the post as a private citizen, and did not hide his identity when doing so.
The latest controversy leaves Brown's future in limbo, with top Republican senators who have the power to confirm him raising concerns about him Friday. Confirmation hearings are scheduled for the spring.
Sen. John Rafferty (R., Montgomery), who sits on the Law and Justice Committee that will vet Brown, said it would be "very difficult" for him to support the confirmation.
He added: "I don't know what the district attorney will do, but I think the governor ought to use this weekend to evaluate his choice."