TSA continues crack down, fires 8 at Newark airport
Editor's Note: A day after reporting this story, the TSA fired eight air marshals for drinking on the job.
NEWARK, N.J.—The Transportation Security Administration on Wednesday handed out pink slips at Newark's airport, the third batch of terminations the agency has announced this month.
On Wednesday, the TSA fired eight of its security officers at Newark Liberty International Airport after they were caught on video sleeping on the job or failing to follow standard operating procedure. The decision to terminate the officers followed an investigation by the TSA's Office of Professional Responsibility and the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general's office, according to the TSA.
It's the third round of firings the TSA has announced this month.
In early June, the TSA fired five officers and suspended another 38 at Southwest Florida Regional Airport for failing to "follow the proper procedure for applying random, supplemental screening procedures during an isolated period last year." Among those suspended was the airport's federal security director, Bob Cohen, according to the Naples Daily News.
On June 15, the TSA fired seven employees at Philadelphia International Airport for paying bribes to an instructor in order to pass annual proficiency exams, according to a news release from the agency.
The TSA issued the following statement after yesterday's terminations at Newark airport (it's almost identical to the statement issued after the terminations in Florida): "The TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has a zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace. Accountability is an important aspect of our work and TSA takes prompt and appropriate action with any employee who does not follow our procedures and engages in misconduct. The decision to take disciplinary action, including the proposed immediate removal of eight individuals from the TSA reaffirms our strong commitment to ensure the safety of the traveling public and to hold all our employees to the highest standards of conduct and accountability."
TSA Administrator John Pistole created the Office of Professional Responsibility last year to help handle these types of investigations.