- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A just-released Government Accountability Office report shows that Transportation Security Administration misconduct is on the rise — and significantly. Reported instances of theft, sleeping on the job and granting family and friends reprieves from intrusive screenings have increased by 26 percent over the last three years.

Also on the list of misconduct, CNN reported: Leaving work without supervisors’ permission.

In total, the GAO found more than 9,000 cases of misconduct over a three-year span. And of that, 1,900 were labeled as security threats, CNN reported.

“There’s not even a way to properly report some of the offenses, so this may be just the tip of the iceberg of some of the offenses,” said Rep. John Mica, Florida Republican, in CNN.

GAO said 56 screeners have been caught stealing, too. Two former TSA workers pleaded guilty in 2012 from stealing $40,000 from a passenger’s bag at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. And a year earlier, another former TSA worker admitted in court to stealing between $10,000 and $30,000 during his security screens at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, CNN reported.

The GAO suggested the TSA improve its business-dealings — and so did Mr. Mica.

“Why are there so many cases and then, what is TSA doing about that? The report says they can’t really get a handle on it. That raises a lot of issues,” he said in the CNN report.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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