by: Rachel Stockman Updated:ATLANTA —
A government report revealed thousands of cases of Transportation Security Administration official misconduct, many of them at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The report by the Government Accountabiliy Office showed TSA officers caused security breaches in at least seven airports.
A copy of the report obtained by Channel 2's Rachel Stockman said cases of misconduct took place between 2010 and 2012, and the majority of them involved problems with attendance and leave. Seventeen percent of all the cases resulted in TSA officers being fired. Offenses also included sleeping on the job, and not following proper procedure.
"It appears they were quite lenient not only in their hiring process but also action they are taking. These are security people charged with one of the most vulnerable spots in our society, which is the airport," said Brent Brown, who runs the private security company Chesley Brown Cos.
A representative of the TSA's union said the report's results are being blown out of proportion, considering the number of employees in the agency.
"Any other agency,
if three-tenths of a percentage of their
At Hartsfield-Jackson at least 10 employees have been
fired for theft since 2002. This year, two former TSA agents were sentenced to prison terms for smuggling drugs through security.
A spokesperson with the TSA issued a statement in response to the report:
"TSA holds its employees to the highest ethical standards and expects all TSA employees to conduct themselves with integrity and professionalism. TSA concurs with GAO's four recommendations to ensure that the agency establishes a process to verify that TSA staff at airports are in compliance, and is already working to implement these recommendations.
"All aspects of our workforce regimen — hiring, promotion, retention, training, proactive compliance inspections, investigations, and adjudications — are driven by adherence to the highest ethical standards. There is zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace and TSA takes appropriate action when substantiated, including anything from a referral to law enforcement or termination of employment."