TSA moves to fire or suspend 44 Newark airport workers

”Davidson”

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is moving to fire 25 transportation security officers and suspend 19 other employees at Newark Liberty International Airport. The disciplinary actions flow from an investigation into a failure by workers to follow procedures in November and December of last year.

The Newark Star-Ledger reported that the probe began last fall as an investigation into an employee suspected of stealing from checked luggage, then expanded into an examination of weak screening-related practices, by more workers, that could place airplanes at risk.

Along with TSA’s move in June to fire eight workers in connection with the investigation, the agency’s current effort means 52 Newark TSA employees have faced disciplinary action. TSA confirmed this is the largest personnel action in the history of the agency, which was established in November 2001, shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Lisa Farbstein, a spokesperson for TSA, said the decision to take disciplinary actions “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.”

federaldiary@washpost.com

Twitter: @JoeDavidsonWP

Previous columns by Joe Davidson are available at wapo.st/JoeDavidson.

Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about federal government and workplace issues that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012. Davidson previously was an assistant city editor at The Washington Post and a Washington and foreign correspondent with The Wall Street Journal, where he covered federal agencies and political campaigns.

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