7 TSA Agents Fired For Paying Bribes To Pass Proficiency Tests

Pop quiz: What’s the best way to pass a proficiency test when you work for a highly scrutinized federal agency already under fire for ineptitude? If you answered “pay $200 to the instructor,” then maybe you are among those TSA agents getting the boot from Philadelphia International Airport.

Back in November, the TSA got wind that something might be rotten among the screeners and pat-downers at PHL, and suspended 10 agents while it investigated.

In February, a training instructor pleaded guilty in federal court to accepting a $200 payment from one security officer in exchange for a passing grade on a test. She was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and six months of house arrest, with four years of probation.

Then today, the TSA announced it will be dismissing seven additional agents alleged to have paid for passing grades.

The other three suspended TSA staffers have already resigned.

From the TSA statement:

TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace. The agency takes prompt and appropriate action with any employee who does not follow TSAs procedures and engages in misconduct. The decision to propose the removal of the seven TSA employees affirms our strong commitment to the safety of the traveling public and to hold all our employees to the highest standards of conduct and accountability.

TSA moves to fire 7 Philly workers for misconduct [Philly.com]

7 TSA Workers Being Canned In Wake of Testing Scandal At PHL Airport [CBS Philadelphia]


Edit Your Comment

  1. sir_eccles says:

    They get training?

  2. sufreak says:

    I’m curious how they got caught. But seriously… I can’t imagine how challenging this exam is.
    Also, a person grades the exam. In an honest organization like the TSA, I can see why that works.

    • sufreak says:

      Instead of “Also, a person grades the exam” It should be… They interact with the person grading their exam?

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Having just gone through NJ SORA training, it’s not how “tough” it is. It’s the amount of time you spend in the classes. My class was 24 hours over three days. Some are longer. If you have another job and can’t get time off, you might be willing to pay $200 to get a passing grade w.o showing up in the classes.

  3. axiomatic says:

    $200 dollar. 2-0-0!!!

    That’s a really cheap bribe.

    I also agree with the other poster… I’m surprised they are trained at all as I could come up with a better security method while tripping on acid.

  4. gman863 says:

    Fail a TSA Test?

    Does this mean they couldn’t tell the difference between male junk and a bomb during a pat-down search?

    • Torgonius wants an edit button says:

      Q: Can you describe the differences between an asshole and a cheeseburger?

      A: Incorrect answer provided by candidate

      Followup: Candidate is not qualified to work for McDonalds. Immediate TSA hire w/ recruitment bonus!

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Aren’t they one and the same?

    • Jozef says:

      Actually, the TSA test consists of three differently-shaped objects and their corresponding holes. The candidate must place at least one object to the right hole to pass and become employed by the TSA. If he places all three, he’ll immediately become a supervisor.

  5. baltimoron says:

    You’ve gotta be a complete moron if you think you aren’t going to be able to pass a test from the TSA.

  6. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    The tests must be biased. The standards should be lowered for absolute fairness.

  7. crispyduck13 says:

    “TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace. The agency takes prompt and appropriate action with any employee who does not follow TSAs procedures and engages in misconduct. “

    AHAHAHAHA!!! Gosh, thanks TSA, I needed a good laugh today.

    • oldwiz65 says:

      TSA has no ethical standards. How can you possibly have any kind of ethics when you think it’s perfectly acceptable to fondle underage girls in a manner that would get a regular person tossed into jail for 20 years?

  8. FatLynn says:

    But we should definitely let them operate machines that zap travelers with radiation!

  9. absherlock says:
    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      An allegation with no criminal charges is not a conviction.

      • huadpe says:

        True, but TSA has wide discretion to, y’know, not hire people who were dismissed from prior jobs for things that are wildly illegal and which substantially undermine the public relations stature of the TSA.

      • absherlock says:

        And I was careful not to refer to it as such. The fact and the reason he was defrocked, however, are public knowledge.

  10. CelticWhisper says:

    “Clerks,” not “agents.” Don’t give them more legitimacy than they’re due.

  11. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    Speed/Keanu taught me that the answer to a Pop Quiz is always: “Shoot the hostage!”

  12. Here to ruin your groove says:

    It amazes me what people will risk their livelihoods over. $200 a pop to risk your job. How little are the instructors being paid to make this worth it?

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      The flip side is sometimes the penalty doesn’t make the crime not worth it.

  13. Portlandia says:

    You mean the TSA has unknowingly left our nations “security” in the hands of unqualified individuals?

    You don’t say!

  14. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    One of my coworker’s husband is a TSA person at our local airport. He likes to visit her on his way to work, sporting his uniform and stupid blue gloves in his back pocket. She’s so proud that he has that job, and always stresses when he has to take “tests” to keep it. Oh, and he was a job to job skipper, partially unemployed, etc. for years until he landed this job.

    It’s hard for me not to say things. But I might have to fly out of that airport someday, and I don’t want him feeling me up. **shudders**

  15. Jawaka says:

    /Insert random snark about TSA agents here because apparently its cool.

  16. frodolives35 says:

    They made that money back on the first day pawning the items they probably stole.

  17. jza1218 says:

    I wonder how many TSA workers are avid readers of this site and get all depressed when a TSA article pops up.

  18. incident_man says:

    And THESE are the “professionals” that people of this Nation are putting their faith in to protect them from terrorist attack during air travel.


    • qwill says:

      No, THESE are the professionals that will be manning all the highways and byways soon along with the airways and any place people congregate in the name of safety. Just writing that scares the crap out of me.

  19. thenutman69321 says:

    “TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards”

    How come every time I go through the airport the security line looks like the ghetto with big fat black bitches cackling everywhere and barely speaking english. Highest professional standards my ass.

  20. dush says:

    They should all get 300 hours in a rapiscan. They can test how healthy it is.

  21. crbullseye says:

    Am I the only one who gets an uneasy feeling whenever they hear TSA?

  22. mcgyver210 says:

    TSA is a JOKE which doesn’t prevent anything. They have proven to be worse than the alternative & also showed they are closer to being a criminal enterprise funded by another corrupt government agency.

  23. bkginsu says:

    One of these days, there might actually be a story about the TSA not being a bunch of money-wasting fuck-ups, and all of our minds will be blown.

  24. qwill says:

    Am I the only one who gets an uneasy feeling whenever they hear TSA?
    And coming soon to a highway, mall, stadium, bus terminal, train station and movie theater near you… the new expanded TSA.
    But, remember it’s all in the name of safety. So nothing to worry about…

  25. SacraBos says:

    What, no “taking seriously” tag?

    Is there any outside independent validation that the TSA does anything remotely useful? A recent article in CSO (Chief Security Officer) Magazine recently apologized for previously supporting the TSA. Other security professionals have referred to them as “security theater”. Honestly does ANYONE, besides the TSA itself, believe they are having any positive effect at all?

    I just will not fly any longer. At the risk of being Clark Griswold, I’ll drive the family to see Wally World before I risk them though an airport.