The shakeups continue within the top ranks at the embattled Transportation Security Administration, as two senior officials involved in several controversies have left the agency recently.
The TSA has been hit by a number of recent scandals, including allegations of retaliation against whistleblowers, excessive salary bonuses and awards for senior executives and complaints of discrimination and harassment.
Kelly Hoggan, the senior TSA official in charge of airport screening nationwide, who received more than $90,000 in bonuses despite known security weaknesses, has resigned, according to the agency. Friday was the last day for Hoggan, who ran the Office of Security Operations at the TSA from May 2013 until he was reassigned last month.
“Mr. Hoggan is no longer with the agency. He left of his own volition,” a TSA spokesman confirmed in an email to Reveal. CNN first reported Hoggan’s resignation.
Stephen Sadler, who until late 2014 ran the agency’s intelligence office, has moved to Customs and Border Protection, another Homeland Security Department agency, as its acting No. 2 intelligence official. David Glawe, the border agency’s head of intelligence, announced Sadler’s assignment in a June 16 email obtained by Reveal.
Sadler was removed as assistant administrator of the TSA’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis after a series of serious security issues. He also oversaw the office at a time when, current and former employees say, discrimination and sexual harassment occurred. Andrew Rhoades, an assistant federal security director in Minneapolis and protected whistleblower, said disparaging remarks – and the failure to act on them – have continued, even after he and others testified at a House oversight hearing in April about TSA misconduct and retaliation.
One former intelligence office employee, Alyssa Bermudez, staged protests three days last week outside TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. She held up a sign saying she was sexually harassed and faced retaliation.
“They need to be exposed. It’s as simple as that,” she said.
The departures come after TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger announced several leadership changes last month, including Hoggan’s removal. The TSA has faced mounting pressure from Congress, the airline industry and travelers over long security checkpoint lines that have plagued several airports around the country.
John Halinski, a former deputy administrator who saw some controversy himself, said Hoggan left the agency to start his own consulting business. He said it takes time for any new administrator to learn the job while also under intense scrutiny.
As for Neffenger, who has been administrator for about a year, Halinski said: “They had a good honeymoon, but that honeymoon ended a few months ago.”
Andrew Becker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @ABeckerCIR.