Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica (R-FL) called on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to come clean about the latest security meltdown at the Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, which may involve a substantial number of TSA employees, including high-ranking airport security officials. Mica said:
"Last week, TSA provided only a vague statement at the end of the day, at the end of the work week about yet another potentially significant security system failure at Southwest Florida International Airport.
"It appears TSA may be trying to keep the public and the media in the dark, but they have a responsibility to Congress to report serious security meltdowns, which unfortunately have become routine.
"Recent meltdowns such as those in New York, Newark, Palm Beach, Honolulu, Charlotte, and Los Angeles have become familiar. For example, TSA recommended firing 36 employees in Honolulu for improperly screening luggage, and 12 others in Charlotte for similar reasons. In Newark, a total of ten workers were fired or suspended for theft or sleeping on the job.
"This latest incident may be a more serious breach than the agency has indicated, and could involve high level TSA administrative personnel at the airport. It also apparently involves a substantial number of TSA employees, more than have been indicated in the agency's sparse and insufficient statements so far.
"Whether TSA is trying to protect administrative bureaucrats from Congressional and public scrutiny, or just trying to sweep this breach under the rug, TSA must come clean and provide a full accounting of this incident."
Mica is planning to send a letter to Administrator Pistole expressing his disappointment that TSA would not provide his committee and Congress timely and accurate information about this latest incident.