HARRISBURG - Central Pennsylvania prosecutors are investigating a handwritten, anonymous letter with racially offensive language delivered to the home of Gov. Wolf's embattled choice to lead the Pennsylvania State Police.
The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Inquirer, was placed Monday evening in the mailbox of acting State Police Commissioner Marcus Brown, the State Police confirmed.
"No n- lover will wear my uniform," the letter said.
Brown's nomination has been opposed by former troopers and their allies, in part because he has chosen to wear their uniform despite not graduating from the state police academy or climbing the ranks in Pennsylvania.
Brown is white. Wolf has said he chose the career law enforcement officer from Maryland in part because of Brown's commitment to diversifying police forces at which he has worked. Of roughly 4,700 Pennsylvania troopers, 6 percent are minority.
Brown turned the letter over to his local police department in a suburb of Harrisburg, as well as the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office. The prosecutors office confirmed it is investigating but would not discuss the details of the probe.
In a statement Tuesday, Brown said he believed every one of his colleagues would "find this letter as disgusting and disturbing as I do."
He added: "This message distracts from the honorable work done day-in and day-out by police officers across the country and is in no way a reflection of them. Further, in my mind, this in no way reflects the character or opinion of any of the members of the Pennsylvania State Police that I have had the honor of meeting."
He declined a request for an interview.
Wolf's spokesman, Jeff Sheridan, called the letter "disturbing" on two fronts.
"It was placed in his mailbox, it was not mailed," said Sheridan. "And the contents of the letter are very disturbing."
Asked whether he thought the letter was targeting Brown's commitment to racial diversity, Sheridan said: "I don't know what the motive of the letter writer is, but the message in that letter is certainly a racist message and it was clearly targeted at Col. Brown."
The letter was signed "didn't-don't," an apparent reference to a slogan popular with Brown's critics: If you "didn't" go through the academy, you "don't" wear the agency's gray uniform.
Former troopers and others have also posted criticisms of Brown on a Facebook page created after his appointment, titled "He didn't earn it, he shouldn't wear it."
There was no indication that anyone involved in those groups was connected to the anonymous letter.
The letter follows days of scrutiny involving Brown. Last week, he was caught on video removing two road signs near his home that read "Marcus Brown didn't earn it!" and "Marcus Brown don't wear it!"
Brown acknowledged taking the signs and placing them in his car, and apologized for it. He said he was acting as a father when he did it, as the signs were near his house and could be seen by his children.
The local police chief investigating the removal of the signs said Brown could face misdemeanor theft charges. That case has also been referred to the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office.
In the wake of that controversy, top Republicans who control the Senate have asked Wolf to withdraw his nomination of Brown. The Senate has the power to confirm the State Police commissioner.
Earlier this week, the union representing state troopers also sent a letter to Wolf calling on him to recall the nomination, saying Brown had become an embarrassment.
Through his spokesman, Wolf has said he will stand by his nominee.