Head of Security at TSA Replaced
The head of security for the Transportation Security Administration, Kelly Hoggan, was removed from office after a House Committee on Oversight hearing on the agency’s management uncovered suspicious practices.
According to Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, Hoggan received an eyebrow-raising $90,000 in bonuses in a 13-month period. Hoggan, who held the position since May 2013, earned $181, 500 a year, and received the bonuses in secretive $10,000 increments, say lawmakers.
Yet, TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger insists Hoggan was let go because the agency is looking for a"different approach," not because of any wrongdoing. Neffenger also expressed a desire to find another place “for Hoggan’s talents” at TSA.
On Monday afternoon, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform revealed Hoggan's dismissal on Twitter.
UPDATE: Kelly Hoggan has been removed from his position as head of security at TSA, following our hearing on May 12 on mismanagement at TSA.— Oversight Committee (@GOPoversight) May 23, 2016
Angered by the large bonuses given to Hoggan at a time when watchdogs have revealed numerous failures of TSA agents to find weapons at checkpoints, lawmakers held no punches.
“Those bonuses were given to somebody who oversees a part of the operation that was in total failure,” Chaffetz said.
The hearing was one in a series where whistleblowers denounced the agency for rewarding top officials with large bonuses while retaliating against workers who complained about the unfair practices, reports USA Today.
With more people traveling in recent months, TSA is suffering more than ever from staffing shortages causing long security lines for airline passengers. Just last week, 500 people were stranded at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport when long lines caused travelers to miss their flights.
This morning, Secretary for Homeland Security Jeh Johnson confirmed Hoggan’s removal on NPR's Morning Edition.
"We've got to ensure aviation security and the safety of the American travel public," Johnson said. "I've made it clear to TSA that we should not shortcut that."
In an email obtained from TSA, Neffenger announced this leadership change and named Darby LaJoye the acting assistant administrator for the Office of Security Operations, the Associated Press reported, citing a memo addressed to TSA senior leaders.
“Darby LaJoye is an experienced Federal Security Director with successful leadership tours at two of the nation’s largest airports, Los Angeles International Airport in California and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York," the memo said.
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