TSA Head Of Security Replaced In Major Agency Shakeup


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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) replaced their head of security Monday just weeks after Congressional testimony shredded his lack of experience and said inept leadership at the TSA is crippling screening efficiency at airports.

Three whistle blowers from the TSA testified in April, saying intelligence chief Kelly Hoggan lacked any background in intelligence, was given an excessive $90,000 bonus and participated in punishing other whistle blowers with pay downgrades and reassignments. The agency shakeup by TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger, who defended Hoggan earlier this month, also included the creation of a new command team to deal with increasingly long screening lines at major national airports, reports The Washington Post.

The TSA whistle blowers say Neffenger’s actions do not go far enough, failing to address the alleged bureaucratic failures of top officials at the agency. Mark Livingston, one of the whistle blowers, said in April testimony senior leadership at the TSA is “paralyzing” the agency.

“I also kept telling Congress that character assassination was an Olympic sport at TSA,” Livingston told The Washington Post. “Neffenger promised to have an open-door policy for retaliation cases, but he has not even spoken to the three whistle blowers or the others who might have requested to see him. He cannot fix the airports if he can’t fix the most obvious management issues that Congress and whistle blowers show him.”

Deputy TSA administrator Darby LaJoye will serve as Hoggan’s replacement, bringing security experience from posts at JFK airport in New York and Los Angeles International Airport. Neffenger named Rod Allison, previous head of the U.S. Federal Marshall Service, as the new deputy chief of operations.

“These adjustments will enable more focused leadership and screening operations at critical airports in the national transportation system,” read a staff memo obtained by The Washington Post.

Growing lines and passengers’ missing flights due to excessive TSA screening waits are an increasing concern of the agency. An incident at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport left passengers stuck waiting in TSA screening lines as their flights departed, reports NBC Washington.

Neffenger reportedly reassigned Hoggan to another post at the agency.

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