Eight U.S. Transportation Security Administration employees were among nine people arrested in connection with stolen parking passes at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, police said today.
Airport police found stolen airline employee-parking placards had been sold for $100 each to TSA workers. The passes would normally cost $34 a month or $400 a year, according to a police statement.
The passes were among 129 that went missing from an American Eagle Airlines Inc. office inside an airport terminal in March. An airline employee has been arrested on a felony charge involving the theft of the passes, police said. The carrier is a unit of American Airlines parent AMR Corp.
TSA misconduct, and the agency’s handling of it, has been a concern in Congress. The Government Accountability Office said in a July 31 report the agency hasn’t been consistent in meting out discipline for infractions ranging from sleeping on the job to stealing travelers’ laptops from security lines.
One TSA employee faces a felony charge of theft for selling the placards to colleagues, police said. The other six government workers face misdemeanor charges for using the stolen passes. The airport didn’t release names of the arrested employees, saying the investigation was continuing.
David Castelveter, a TSA spokesman, said the agency is cooperating with the airport’s investigation. The eight employees have been placed on indefinite suspension without pay, he said.
“TSA does not tolerate any form of unethical or unlawful behavior by its employees and takes appropriate disciplinary action,” Castelveter said in an e-mail.