February 4, 2010, - 11:33 am

Tough S—, America: TSA Hires Convicted Felon Robber, Forces Airport to Issue Top Secret Clearance

By Debbie Schlussel

If the TSA will hire a convicted felon robber, who won’t they hire?  And why is the TSA screening us, when the agency refuses to screen . . . its own employees? Absurd is an understatement.  Is the TSA really this desperate for employees?  Are there really so few qualified unemployed Americans applying for a TSA position?

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TSA . . . Talent (On Loan From Prison) Security Administration:

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration insisted that Richmond International Airport issue its highest-level security clearance to a TSA security officer with a felony conviction for robbery.

The current employee was 17 years old when he committed the crime and 18 when convicted. The TSA said such juvenile adjudications do not bar people from employment.

The airport would not identify the TSA employee nor reveal his age. The employee did not divulge on his application—though a records check last fall did—that he had been found guilty of robbery within the past 10 years.

The federal agency’s demand that RIC issue the “security identification display area” badge came despite the fact that Richmond International’s TSA-approved security program prohibits issuing security badges to people convicted of any disqualifying crimes.

“It is unconscionable . . . that a 17year-old person, who committed and was found guilty of a terrible crime, would be hired and works the front line of airport security,“ said Jon Mathiasen, RIC’s president and CEO, in a letter to the TSA on Jan. 18. . . .

The Transportation Security Administration threatened the airport with unspecified consequences, Mathiasen said, unless RIC agreed to issue the badge to the employee.

Faced with the TSA’s demands “and against its own prudent judgment,“ the Capital Region Airport Commission, which owns and operates RIC, issued the access credentials to the federal employee late last year. . . .

Last fall, the Capital Region Airport Commission did a fingerprint and criminal history records check on the TSA employee who was seeking an upgraded security badge. “Security identification display area” badges allow their holders unescorted access to secured areas, including airliner parking and luggage holding areas.

Based on its security program, RIC denied the request. The TSA, however, said the airport had to issue the credentials because the employee met the federal agency’s hiring standards.

And don’t forget that this is the same agency which repeatedly misses most bombs in tests conducted by other feds, and responds to problems by playing John Tesh muzak.

Safer since 9/11? Ha. Not even close.

If our leaders were smart (and they aren’t), they’d disband the TSA and replace it with Blackwater (now known as Xe).

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37 Responses

All in the interest of DIVERSITY.

#1 Vato on February 4, 2010 at 11:54 am

Evidently, the TSA cares more about affirmative action than safety. The scariest aspect of the PC hiring, though, is not convicted felons, but the many Muslims they are hiring. I felt so unsafe flying out of Dulles last summer. You had a Muslim guy with a beard checking your identification, and other lines had Muslim women with headdresses checking identification, and pointing you into the line for your luggage to be screened with many Muslims doing the screening.

JM on February 4, 2010 at 11:56 am

    And how about the rental car areas around airports. Do you notice the amount of people working there that look like they are middle eastern? What could they be up to when they service these cars?

    Jarhead on February 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm

We tend to think this is some sort of a sick joke
And they keep repeating the same “let me be clear” “the system worked”
With so many bows and apologies to everyone else in the outside world, I wonder if anyone will address the American population regarding this new oops

Jackie AUS on February 4, 2010 at 11:57 am

I guarantee he is the son of some minority entitlement appointee. Payback.

JLin on February 4, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Wow. JLin. Where’s your hood? This isn’t about race, it’s about a kid that obviously turned his life around if he has been able to keep his adult life clean enough to pass a background check. You’re right. Let’s not give second chances so that no one has a reason to improve themselves and make the criminal element even stronger. Next time one of you complaining makes a mistake, remember that you don’t get a second chance either.

    JoBri on February 8, 2010 at 10:44 am

He did it when he was 17. I would think an ancient felony conviction shouldn’t disqualify someone from federal employment. But a recent conviction should be grounds for concern. Debbie, I’d have to take exception here. Depends on how old he is now.

NF: It’s not ancient. It’s within the last ten years and perhaps sooner. If it’s against airport policy for others in his position to get clearance–and it is–there shouldn’t be an exception for this guy. DS

NormanF on February 4, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    This person is getting special treatment for some reason. Normally, such a person would be screened out from the selection process as soon as that less than ten year old conviction was spotted. and such an exclusion would not even questioned.

    Our friend actually tried to conceal his background by leaving this information off of his application: “The airport would not identify the TSA employee nor reveal his age. The employee did not divulge on his application—though a records check last fall did—that he had been found guilty of robbery within the past 10 years.”

    Do you really want someone like this as a security officer with a Top Secret Clearance? He committed a serious felony within the last ten years and then lied about it.

    Worry01 on February 4, 2010 at 3:27 pm

“The employee did not divulge on his application”

He lied. This should have also disqualified him for several reasons.

I_AM_ME on February 4, 2010 at 12:40 pm

the story says:

“The employee did not divulge on his application—though a records check last fall did—that he had been found guilty of robbery within the past 10 years.”

So he lied on his application (crime?) and the crime was less than 10 years ago. Age doesn’t matter here the crime is less than 10 years ago.

Remember when the TSA was formed they lowered their standards so that high school drop outs would keep their jobs in airport security. So we have high school drop outs, criminals and muslim terrorist supporters providing our nations airline security. I am amazed that planes are not just falling out of the sky everyday.

ender on February 4, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    “So he lied on his application (crime?) and the crime was less than 10 years ago. Age doesn’t matter here the crime is less than 10 years ago.”

    In most private and public sector positions that entail any responsibilty, an applcation and any background materials are looked at quite closely before an interview is even granted. If a person is hired, and it is later determined that there were any falsifications or significant omissions on the application, the employee could be subject to immediate termination. In a public sector setting, especially one in which a security clearance is needed, deliberate falsifications and omissions on an employment application could lead to criminal prosecution. When an employment application is signed by the employee, the applicant is attesting to tha accuracy and validity(to the best of their knowledge) of the information that they have provided to the employer. Finally, this person was not trying to become the new janitor, but a security officer with a high level security clearance.

    sorrow01 on February 4, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Debbie, thanks for clarifying that. Ten years, I agree is a no no. If its something like 20 or 30 years ago and he didn’t re-offend, different story. In this case, no guy with a conviction that recent as you’ve related, should get that position. And if the TSA is that incompetent in checking the background of its hires, you gotta wonder what else its missing.

NormanF on February 4, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I_Am and ender – failure to disclose a prior felony conviction on his federal employment application should have been sufficient grounds then and there not to hire him. The TSA is sending Americans the message that character doesn’t mattter. Yep, that’s definitely the hope n change we were waiting for! Not really!

NormanF on February 4, 2010 at 12:48 pm

“The employee did not divulge on his application—though a records check last fall did—that he had been found guilty of robbery within the past 10 years.”

So he’s 28 or younger. One would have assumed leaving out such information is a disqualifying, if not punishable, offense.

Raymond in DC on February 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Raymond, I applied for federal employment and was completely truthful. Was I stupid not to lie? I prefer to keep my good reputation. But it does seem that having a bad reputation isn’t barrier to having the federal government put you in very sensitive positions in this country.

Oy vey!

NormanF on February 4, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I’m still wondering how a self-avowed communist(Van Jones) and an unrepentant terrorist(Bill Ayers) and others passed the check for Yankee White clearance, which is required to get near the Pres or work around him. One of the questions asked during that check is: Have you ever been a member of the communist party or taken action against the US Government? Yet the whole Administration would fail the background check due to those questions.

Mark on February 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm

SF86 questions 30 a and b http://usmilitary.about.com/library/pdf/sf86.pdf

Mark on February 4, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I will safely suggest we are not talking about a Caucasian male here.

#1 Vato on February 4, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Does anyone expect anything different? I expect the panty bomber to be working at TSA as part of his plea bargin next time I board a plane. That wouldn’t surprise me either.

MotherRedDog on February 4, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I guess that means this guy has a bright future to look forward to at TSA?
http://doctorbulldog.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/manhattan-prison-imam-arrested-for-trying-to-smuggle-in-utility-blades-and-scissors/

yonason on February 4, 2010 at 4:54 pm

NormanF. Did you miss the part about his TSA application? He lied by omitting the felony conviction. That wasn’t discovered until later. He should’ve been fired for falsifying his app.

FrankLaughter on February 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Those of us who read Superman will think of this as the Bizarro TSA, Bizarro DHS and Bizarro DoJ.

Little Al on February 4, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Does anyone on this post know the defintion of juvenile adjudication as it applies to the State of VA? Come on folks … Even though it is not out of character for any of government agencies to do break their own laws or policies and procedures it is usually done on the down low and rarely ever hits the media spotlight. It’s all undercover. Mr. Mathiasen must have strong ties and connections with Mr. Cantor whose hidden agenda is to make some noise at TSA because even the lamest of government officials and employees would not put their *^! on the line and mandate this action be enforced unless they had their ducks in a row and knew they were within the confines of the law. As frightening as it may appear to us all and this is something I certainly don’t disagree with, “legally” the decision TSA made is polictically correct according to VA Code 16.1-306.

My “assumption” is either Mr. Cantor was:

A. Not relying on the public to discover this on their own
B. Was not aware himself which is even more frightening because of his position.
C. Was totally aware of this law but expected TSA not to adhere to it and was planning to support the individual in his class action law suit against the government for discrimination since the law was put into place for a reason, to protect juvenile offenders.

And what does this say for our media? If this individual had been the one who contacted you all first and said he was denied his security access by CRAC and this was a violation of his rights would you have written a story in his defense? The government can’t have it both ways …..

TFLMS on February 4, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    What would a state statute have to do with federal employment? Also, where are you coming up with these names anyway?

    sorrow01 on February 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm

      The name, Jon Mathiasen, is mentioned in this article as well as the original which includes Eric Cantor. It can be found by by clicking on the link above “TSA . . . Talent (On Loan From Prison) Security Administration”. The state statute applies because this person was convicted of an offense as a juvenile and no where does it say it was a felony as Ms. Schlussel reports in her story. In the State of VA if certain conditions are met the person’s criminal history is expunged and they are not required to report anything. Their slate is wiped cleaned and cannot be denied employment or advancements in their current positions as a result of their past.

      This is why TSA had to approve this request. No one knows all the details of this case. For all we do know it is possible in the past TSA has denied employment for other juvenile offenders who fall into this category but this person happened to know his legal rights and challenged it therefore TSA was between a rock and a hard place. It is highly unlikely they are going to admit to this.

      It does not impress me much that a congressman from the State of VA would have made a public comment against TSA for the media reprimanding them for their actions. How could he not have known the law?

      TFLMS on February 5, 2010 at 3:18 am

It’s political correctness that is going to undo America.

Mary on February 4, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Look, this should come as NO surprise. The last two democrat presidents would not be able to pass U.S. government suitibility background checks for employment at any level given their associations and behavior.

Marc on February 5, 2010 at 6:56 am

“Wow. JLin. Where’s your hood? This isn’t about race, it’s about a kid that obviously turned his life around if he has been able to keep his adult life clean enough to pass a background check. You’re right. Let’s not give second chances so that no one has a reason to improve themselves and make the criminal element even stronger. Next time one of you complaining makes a mistake, remember that you don’t get a second chance either.

JoBri on February 8, 2010 at 10:44 am”

Typical cowardly response from a liberal: as soon as anyone points out any plainly obvious fact, they screech “racist.”

I despise liberals.

united states of sharia on November 16, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I THOUGHT THAT BEING IN THE MILITARY WOULD GIVE ME A BETTER CHANCE OF BEING EMPLOYED, BUT I FOUND OUT THE HARD WAY WHEN TSA SENT ME A LETTER IN THE MAIL ALONG WITH A COPY OF MY CREDIT REPORT. I WAS DENIED BECAUSE OF MY CREDIT. I HAVE NO CRIMINAL BACKGROUND. HOW CAN THIS DUMB METHOD THEY USE ACTUALLY WORK WHEN PEOPLE ARE GETTING FIRED FOR, USING DRUGS, BEING LATE, SLEEPING ON THE JOB,ETC… I ADMIT THAT I MISSED OR NEGLECTED TO PAY CERTAIN BILLS, BUT HOW CAN THIS METHOD SECURE THE SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC!

alton thompson on November 29, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Wish the hell I could get a job!
I committed Voluntary Manslaughter at age 16.
Did 11+ yrs. in prison, been out over 3 yrs. and no one will hire me!

Hank22077 on June 27, 2011 at 6:22 pm

America soon to be the toilet of the world, due to the incompitence of of elected or appointed sf brains.

Terry Morlan on September 11, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I think what you said was very reasonable. But,
think about this, suppose you added a little content? I ain’t saying your information isn’t solid.
, however suppose you added a post title that makes people desire more?
I mean Tough S-, America: TSA Hires Convicted Felon Robber, Forces Airport to Issue
Top Secret Clearance is kinda boring. You ought to glance at Yahoo’s front page and watch how they create news headlines to get people to open the links. You might add a video or a related pic or two to get readers excited about everything’ve got to say.
In my opinion, it might bring your posts a little bit more interesting.

pregnant games on September 14, 2013 at 5:41 am

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