ATLANTA, Oct. 24, 2012 — Some of the nation’s busiest airports are — or were — also home to the most Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents fired for theft, according to a new report from ABC News.
With 29 employees fired for theft between 2002 and 2011, Miami International Airport (MIA) topped the list, according to ABC News. JFK International Airport (JFK), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and Las Vegas-McCarren International Airport (LAS) rounded out the top five, according to the ABC report published Tuesday.
Critics have long bemoaned the TSA as a bureaucratic mess while supporters say the federal agency, founded in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is necessary to ensure the flying public remains safe. The report is the latest in a string of bad news for the federal agency.
On Friday, TSA officials said they want to fire 25 employees and suspend another 19 at Newark Star-Liberty International Airport (EWR) after the employees failed to properly conduct baggage screening, according to the TSA and published reports.
Earlier this month, the agency’s Inspector General (IG) recently found shortcomings in the TSA’s procedures, standards and oversight at Honolulu International Airport in 2010.
“I lay the blame at TSA because it’s a bureaucracy that doesn’t know how to manage an army of 65,000 employees,” U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., said in a statement last week following the Newark airport announcement. “When are we going to learn that the problem is that this massive, bloated bureaucracy is in need of dramatic reform?” Mica added. “Every new security lapse, each one worse than the previous, demonstrates more that this agency is in disarray, and we must transform the TSA from a vast and unsuccessful human resources operation into a true security agency.”
Mica isn’t alone. In June, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., suggested dismantling the TSA, a move he said would have saved taxpayers more than $5.5 billion.
His push fell short, and it wasn’t the first time the Congressman criticized the agency. In May, Broun asked John Pistole, administrator of the TSA, to resign, saying in a letter the federal agency “has become nothing more than a bloated, broken bureaucracy.”
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