Kelly Hoggan's ouster as head of TSA security is tied to security lapses uncovered over the last year. It's also tied to massive publicity about incredibly long lines and the totally inability of the TSA, politicians, or airport officials to manage them.
A House committee said Monday that the head of security operations at the Transportation Security Administration has been replaced.
“Kelly Hoggan has been removed from his position as head of security at TSA,” the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform posted on Twitter.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press obtained a memo sent from TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger that does not mention Hoggan but names an acting replacement.
“Darby LaJoye will serve as the Acting Assistant Administrator of the Office of Security Operations,” Neffenger wrote in the 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 oversight committee said Hoggan received more than $90,000 in bonuses over a period from late 2013 to late 2014.
About a year later, a report from the Homeland Security Inspector General’s office revealed that agency employees failed to find explosives, weapons and other dangerous items in more than 95 percent of covert tests at multiple U.S. airports.
That report and allegations of other mismanagement within TSA have drawn congressional scrutiny and promoted multiple hearings on Capitol Hill.
Hoggan’s ouster also comes amid growing concerns of massive security lines at airports this summer. The long lines have been blamed in part on more travelers during the busy summer travel season and a shortage of screening officers manning checkpoints.
Neffenger has also attributed some security line woes to fewer people than anticipated applying for the government’s PreCheck program, which allows passengers to move through security faster after submitting to a background check.
In recent weeks there have been reports of thousands of people missing flights because of the lengthy wait times. Problems have been reported in Chicago and Neffenger last week was in the city meeting with local officials to discuss the problems.
In his memo Wednesday, Neffenger said, “At Chicago O’Hare International Airport, a new leadership team is now overseeing screening operations.”
He said that and other adjustments, including the LaJoye appointment, “will enable more focused leadership and screening operations at critical airports in the national transportation system.”
The TSA did not say where Hoggan has been reassigned.
Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
This article was written by Alicia A. Caldwell from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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Photo credit: A TSA officer, left, checks a passenger's ticket, boarding pass and passport as part of security screening at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Mark Lennihan / Associated Press