TSA Troubles: Theft and Lack of Security Screening

Two incidents involving wayward TSA officers made news over the past few days; one security officer was sentenced for his part in a theft scheme involving his superior while 28 officers in Hawaii were fired for allowing baggage on planes without proper screening.

See the Most Outrageous TSA Security Incidents

Thefts from Baggage at Newark Airport

The thefts took place at Newark’s Liberty Airport last year; an investigation began after a several passengers complained various items had been stolen¬†from their luggage; later, Officer Al Raimi was secretly recording taking about $5,000 out of a woman’s purse. He cooperated with investigators and helped them nab his boss, Michael Arato who was sentenced in June to 7-30 months in prison. Last week, Raimi was sentenced to six months house arrest; he does must also make restitution to his victims to the tune of $24,000+ but since he’s been fired from the TSA, it’s not clear how he’ll do this.

Hawaii Baggage Goes Unscreened

Over in Hawaii, meanwhile, 28 TSA employees were fired, another 3 were allowed to resign or retire and another 15 were put on suspension after an investigation revealed not all bags at Honolulu International were getting screened. In case you were unaware of this, 100% of checked-bags are supposed to be screened before they go into a plane’s cargo hold.

Apparently the lapse occurred in the last four months of 2010, but the flying public wasn’t aware of this until Honolulu’s KITV 4 news reported on the matter back in March. The TSA made some comments about its investigation in June and now we know about the firings.

Question for my readers: Do these punishments fit the “crimes”?

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Published: September 26, 2011