TSA Security Chief 'Removed'

Lawmakers outraged by his $90K bonus
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2016 1:49 AM CDT
Updated May 24, 2016 6:17 AM CDT
TSA Security Chief 'Removed'
TSA agents check passenger boarding passes and identification at a security screening checkpoint in Seattle last week.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Travelers who have experienced out-of-control airport lines and maddening security glitches may be glad to hear that TSA security chief Kelly Hoggan is out of a job—but less pleased to hear that he received $90,000 in bonuses. The House Oversight Committee tweeted Monday night that Hoggan, security chief since 2013, has been removed from his job following a May 12 hearing on mismanagement at the agency, NPR reports. At the hearing, TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger was asked why Hoggan—who was paid $181,500 a year—received the hefty bonuses at a time when security lines were not improving and embarrassing security holes were exposed.

The bonuses to Hoggan were paid in $10,000 monthly increments up to November 2014 in what lawmakers described as a clear example of "smurfing" to disguise the payments, NBC News reports. Neffenger told the committee the bonuses were paid before he took charge and he won't let such payouts happen again. "I don't think that level of bonus is justified, period," he said. Darby LaJoye, Hoggan's deputy, will be interim security chief. Amid heavy criticism for long security lines snarling travel nationwide, the TSA has promised to add more screeners. Neffenger also promised "more focused leadership and screening operations at critical airports in the national transportation system" in a TSA memo seen by CNN. (Read more TSA stories.)

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