Head of TSA security operations removed from position
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Head of TSA security operations removed from position


    Transportation Security Administration agents work at a security checkpoint in terminal C at Newark Liberty International airport today in Newark, N.J.

WASHINGTON >> A House committee said today 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.

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      • Wonder if U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s statement that “there are too many white people in important national security posts” had anything to do with this?

      • You would have to fire almost everyone in TSA. We fly frequently and have never seen a TSA operations at any airport that approaches acceptable level. The personnel are just trash, bottom of the barrel hires who totally lacks professionalism and pride in their work. Imagine, we entrust our safety in their hands – a frightening thought.

    • Note that he was “reassigned”, not terminated. He’s still collecting his six figure salary and will likely continue to do so. This is just PR damage control, if Obama really wanted to send a message he would replace the TSA head, not one of his many underlings. Airport security should be given back to the airlines, they previously did a better job of maintaining airline security than TSA is doing now.

      • IRT saywhatyouthink: Umm, I’m no fan of TSA (yet another government bureaucracy), but “airport security” by “the airlines” is what was in place on 11-Sep-2001. We all know how effective THAT was. I do agree with your statement about the (now previous) head of TSA security being “reassigned” vice terminated. Another W-T-F moment in life.

        • Agree, the airlines began to increase their bottom line soon after charging all kinds of fees, among them baggage. This move increased the workload to TSA security as more baggage must be examined by security personnel whereas much of the checked baggage relied on electronic/magnetized methodology. Seasonal travel also aggravate the problem. Correspondently TSA should have researched workload issues to adjust the staff to meet the changes. The statistical data is available as to the seasonal changes and forecasted?

    • Now if we could just get our utterly clueless, incompetent, members of congress and senate to do the exact same when they fail to pass major legislation, can’t work a budget and shut the country down, endless earmarks to waste billions.

      Sad to say these losers are quick to call for others to step down but fail to hold themselves to the same standards. Sometimes you just can’t fix stupid.

      • Don’t forget to start at the top. The current bafoon in the White House is a disaster. Luckily there is less than a year until we have more of the same or REAL CHANGE FOR THE BETTER!

        • Yeah, don’t forget that the last going-on four years have been because of the misguided Republican House/Senate. So, whose fault is it then?? I say dump those in Congress who have done a lousy job, not just Republican’s, but Democrats as well.

        • I believe the whole TSA thing started because of the bafoon who was in the White House before this bafoon. But a bafoon like you don’t care about real issues but only about spouting political carp.

  • Lot of TSA agents leave because of their managers. Now is the time to take a look at the managers and see if they are treating their agents fairly.

  • I don’t understand why more people haven’t signed up for PreCheck. I fly a lot, and got mine free through my airline frequent flier program. But even if I hadn’t. I would have paid the annual fee. It makes a huge difference when going through a big airport. And the info they ask for isn’t much more than you’re asked to provide for a US passport.

  • Hoggan earned his bounes, he did exactly what congress wanted him to do in 2013 and 14 cut staffing, increase passenger processing, never mind about screening. Now TSA is trying to re-hire staffing. Privatization might be right at this point in time.

  • Why I refuse to get PreCheck. It costs $85 which is ridiculous. I do not drive and rely on paratransit which will cost me another $4. You have to go to a center several miles away for a personal interview. Since I don’t know how long I will have to wait for my interview and I have to allow at least 3 hours for the trip. Since I don’t know how long I have to wait or how long the interview will be, I will need to allow at least another 90 minutes time if I’m lucky. If they make me wait, I will miss my paratransit and have to spend $25 for a taxi. In conclusion, the process will take me almost an entire day and $89 to $112 including transportation. Anybody guess why I have a problem with how the whole PreCheck program is implemented and how much it will cost me. TSA needs to do something to make the PreCheck program easier and less costly. Where does the money go? I hope not to supplement their pay.

  • Glad there was a small gesture of accountability by removing one senior manager. More accountability measures need to be done. Can the National Guard be called to help TSA in the interim?

    Do you notice a trend of blunders with federal agencies? …Aside from TSA, The Veterans administration scandal, Office of Personnel Management, Social Security, the IRS, and the list goes on. History should take notice that the current administration should be remembered for ineffectively managing our federal agencies.

  • Last Monday I flew from Honolulu, HI, to Seattle, WA on Hawaiian Airlines. After seeing all of the huge lines in airports all over the US and the recommendation from TSA to join PreCheck, I did so. When I arrived at the Honolulu Airport I went into the Interisland Terminal which is where you check in for HA. I looked for the P.C. line and finally asked an employee where it was. They pointed to a line half a mile long and I had a hard time believing that a PC line could be so long. I asked several folks in that line if they were PC travelers and they all replied that they were so I got in the back of that line. While completing my Master’s thesis while waiting in line, I asked a passing TSA employee where other PC lines were and was told that there was only one PC line for that entire terminal. Now this head of TSA sits in his Washington office making excuses for all of the long lines and suggesting that folks join PC so they can speed thru the check points. BS. If I were his boss I would tell him to get out of his office and go to all of these airports around the country that are experiencing such inexcusable delays and fix them immediately. I have seen too many TV news reports of lots of folks missing their flights while they are waiting in TSA lines and a couple of folks saying that it took them longer to get thru security then the length of their flight! Talk about mismanagement. This is certainly the biggest I have seen in my 69 years of flying.

    • Flew Hawaiian from Honolulu last fall. One person in our group had TSA Pre-check. He went to that line while the rest of us went to the back of the regular TSA line outside the terminal by the drop off area. After getting through security, we reassembled ourselves (belts, shoes, ziploc bag, etc.) but couldn’t find Pre-check guy. Figured we took so long he went shopping. But no, he was still going through the Pre-check line. Guess there’s no guarantee that Pre-check will be faster.

  • TSA can’t find any bombs or explosives, but they always seem to find my Peanut butter, jams and jelly from Trader Joe’s that I forget in my carry-on when leaving Sin City! No wonder the screeners all look plump and healthy!

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