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RIC And A Certain TSA Employee  
User currently offlinextoler From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 953 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2841 times:

Just read an article online from the Richmond (VA) Times Dispatch about an ex-felon getting a high security clearance at the airport. I'm sort of mixed about this. He (or she) was a teen when the felony robbery occured. But apparently this has happened within the last 10 years so I'm not sure if this person has learned his or her lesson.

The story is on the following link: http://www2.timesdispatch.com/rtd/bu...cle/AIRP04_20100203-223007/322101/

I'm trying real hard not to bash TSA, but as I didn't see this in the forum yet, thought some of ya'll may be interested.


EMB145 F/A, F/E, J41 F/A, F/E, because my wife clipped my wings, armchair captain
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCadet57 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 30
Reply 1, posted (4 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2830 times:

Quoting xtoler (Thread starter):
But apparently this has happened within the last 10 years so I'm not sure if this person has learned his or her lesson.

When I applied to work at DL for the same security clearance (or is it different? do TSA people get higher than DL people?) that *any* felony, ever, could disqualify you.



Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (4 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2795 times:

This is disturbing. I know typically employers can ask you if you have ever had a felony, but in many cases it is hard to find out if someone had a felony as a minor, as records may be sealed (I think state laws may vary), but I would assume the Federal Government could find out for something this important.

Felons, regardless of when they committed it, have no business in security jobs requiring high clearance. Period. Some may say it is unfair, I don't. They committed a serious crime and that should effect what jobs they can get.



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3621 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (4 years 7 months 20 hours ago) and read 2762 times:

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 2):
They committed a serious crime and that should effect what jobs they can get.

Just like anything you have to look at each case. Should an 18 year old kid caught with a pound of weed be considered a felon just like a cereal murderer?


User currently offlinextoler From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 953 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 2728 times:

Just like anything you have to look at each case. Should an 18 year old kid caught with a pound of weed be considered a felon just like a cereal murderer?

I killed a bowl of Cheerios this morning. Sorry, couldn't help that. But yeah, what are the circumstances of the crime? I've never committed a felony, but I did have some petty traffic crimes I had to report when I signed up as a f/a. Of course that was no big deal. When I was going through a background check with the USAF for my clearence back in '90 they were really thorough. TSA is also a federal agency, why aren't they as thorough? Granted, agents aren't probably dealing with crypto but they are dealing with people's personal property.



EMB145 F/A, F/E, J41 F/A, F/E, because my wife clipped my wings, armchair captain
User currently offlineCatIII From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3029 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 2687 times:

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 3):
a cereal murderer?

Ha, it's a "serial" murderer. I don't know if killing, say, Captain Crunch is actually a crime.


User currently offlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2084 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 2673 times:

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 3):
Should an 18 year old kid caught with a pound of weed be considered a felon just like a cereal murderer?

It's not like that pound was for personal use, and if it was, that is still something of a problem.


User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (4 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 2668 times:

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 3):
Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 2):
They committed a serious crime and that should effect what jobs they can get.

Just like anything you have to look at each case. Should an 18 year old kid caught with a pound of weed be considered a felon just like a cereal murderer?

Given the issues we have had with airport employees and drug smuggling, I guess I would find that pertinent, yes. I don't care who you are, 1 pound is not personal use.

The simple fact is, you cannot have people who do not respect laws entrusted to enforce them. I am not saying that getting a felony for something like narcotics possession makes one a "bad person," that is a matter for discussion by people better than me. I wouldn't say they should be precluded from all jobs, but jobs in say, law enforcement - where you need special security clearance, yes.

Not everyone is personally equipped for all jobs. People with a tendency to commit serious crimes cannot do certain things (even if it was a "one time thing" and they have "learned their lesson," the risk of being too careful is smaller than not careful enough). I have a mild form of color blindness. I can in normal circumstances differentiate colors like green from red. I am still not allowed to be a pilot, ATC, or serve in several military roles as a result. Am I most likely able to do everything those roles require? Yes. Can I pass a very cautious test, no. In the interest of better being safe than sorry, I can't. That's how it goes. If you have a felony, even for narcotics, it's the same, better safe than sorry.



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
User currently offlinethegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (4 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 2657 times:

Quoting xtoler (Reply 4):
Just like anything you have to look at each case. Should an 18 year old kid caught with a pound of weed be considered a felon just like a cereal murderer?

yes of course...



Our Returning Champion
User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (4 years 7 months 19 hours ago) and read 2643 times:

Quoting CatIII (Reply 5):
Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 3):
a cereal murderer?

Ha, it's a "serial" murderer. I don't know if killing, say, Captain Crunch is actually a crime.

Haha, you can kill Captain Crunch, just don't go after Ronald McDonald.



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
User currently offlineHotelDJRomeo From Canada, joined Dec 2009, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 7 months 18 hours ago) and read 2599 times:

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 9):
just don't go after Ronald McDonald

What about The Hamburgler? The TSA officer in question was a robber after all...

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 7):
Am I most likely able to do everything those roles require? Yes. Can I pass a very cautious test, no. In the interest of better being safe than sorry, I can't. That's how it goes. If you have a felony, even for narcotics, it's the same, better safe than sorry.

     Excellent post, and precisely the right idea.



Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3621 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (4 years 7 months 17 hours ago) and read 2532 times:

Quoting CatIII (Reply 5):
Ha, it's a "serial" murderer.

Lets not get my lack of intelligence and poor grammar get in the way of a real issue!!


User currently offlinePI731 From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 125 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2313 times:

I fly in and out of Richmond all the time for work. I wish I knew his name. I'd look him up next time i go to RIC!

User currently offlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2084 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2265 times:

Quoting PI731 (Reply 12):
I fly in and out of Richmond all the time for work. I wish I knew his name. I'd look him up next time i go to RIC!

Just ask one of the agents if he is the convicted felon, I'm sure they will be happy to let you know.


User currently offline757luver From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2183 times:

The question I would be asking is why is he even working for the TSA after lieing on his application. I know you cant really trust what you see in the media, but according to the article he didn't divulge the information but was found in a background check. That would be a condition for not being hired at a lot of places.

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 2):

This is disturbing. I know typically employers can ask you if you have ever had a felony, but in many cases it is hard to find out if someone had a felony as a minor, as records may be sealed (I think state laws
may vary), but I would assume the Federal Government could find out for something this important.

Maybe since he was convicted till he was 18 might be why it showed up on a background check. But like you said the laws could be different in every state. I know Ohio seals your record when you turn 18 and the only way they will open it is if you keep repeating the same offense a lot.

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 3):
Should an 18 year old kid caught with a pound of weed

Hypothetically, lets say he has some while working at the airport and has it out and someones coming along, who's to say he wouldn't put it in someones bag just to get it off his person. Would hate to be the passenger whos bag he stuffed it in.



Long live the 757!
User currently offlineRussianJet From Belgium, joined Jul 2007, 7702 posts, RR: 21
Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2102 times:
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Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 11):
Quoting CatIII (Reply 5):
Ha, it's a "serial" murderer.

Lets not get my lack of intelligence and poor grammar get in the way of a real issue!!

But crimes against wheat, barley, oats and other cereals is certainly a serious issue.



✈ Every strike of the hammer is a blow against the enemy. ✈
User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 2991 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2090 times:

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 7):
The simple fact is, you cannot have people who do not respect laws entrusted to enforce them.

How about a 17 year-old who fondled his 17 year-old girlfriend's breast - that'll get you on the sex offender registry for life in many states? Should it disqualify you from ever getting a security clearance?

Obviously, that was not the case in RIC. Conviction for robbery within the last 10 years, and not disclosed (this in itself is a form of deceit).



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 17, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2050 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 16):
Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 7):
The simple fact is, you cannot have people who do not respect laws entrusted to enforce them.

How about a 17 year-old who fondled his 17 year-old girlfriend's breast - that'll get you on the sex offender registry for life in many states? Should it disqualify you from ever getting a security clearance?

I think that's hyperbole. I am not sure what felony that would even be in any state. I don't mean to put you on the spot, but you do have an actual example of a 17 year old being convicted of a felony for fondling a girlfriend?

If an 18 year old has sex with his 15 year old girlfriend, that's a felony that gets you on the sex offender list in many states (sometimes the age gap is smaller, but those states are the exception), but fondling by people of similar age - in a romantic relationship, unlikely.

And yes - if someone has such a problem with inappropriate fondling that they've been convicted of a felony for it, they should not be allowed to be a TSA officer, especially given how many issues they've had with screeners inappropriately frisking passengers. Trust is a big part of what they do. If we can't have any faith (I know they don't give us reason to have much), the system works very poorly.

The simple fact is, we might not agree with every law, but that's how it goes. Committing a felony is a major violation. Just because you don't see a problem with it does not make it alright. As a security screener, if you don't see the problem with letting someone on with a given prohibited item and just let it through, that's a problem. Yes, some prohibited items are stupid, but that does not mean we can leave it to everyone to decide for themselves what can and can't go. It's a job where following rules is important. If you can't follow major laws, why would they trust you to follow rules?



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 2991 posts, RR: 28
Reply 18, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1954 times:

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 17):

I think that's hyperbole. I am not sure what felony that would even be in any state. I don't mean to put you on the spot, but you do have an actual example of a 17 year old being convicted of a felony for fondling a girlfriend?

There are hundreds of them on the sex offender registries in Georgia and Texas (just 2 examples cited in recent articles in the Economist), to the point where even the police say the registries are useless, because they're overwhelmed by people who are at no risk of "re-offending".



Empty vessels make the most noise.
User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1380 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1805 times:

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 18):
o the point where even the police say the registries are useless, because they're overwhelmed by people who are at no risk of "re-offending".

In Colorado, indecent exposure puts you on the sex offender list. (Though public indecency does not).


User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 20, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1724 times:

Quoting ADent (Reply 19):
Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 18):
o the point where even the police say the registries are useless, because they're overwhelmed by people who are at no risk of "re-offending".

In Colorado, indecent exposure puts you on the sex offender list. (Though public indecency does not).

But we aren't talking about the sex-offender list, we're talking about being a felon.

If you get a felony for a sexual crime, you likely misbehaved more than slightly. Generally, felonies are 2+ years in prison / $50,000+ fine penalty crimes. It takes more than a minor infraction to go to prison for 2 years, in my experience.

It could just be me, but being barred from working in law enforcement seems small compared to 2 years in prison for a given action.



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
User currently offlineLufthansa411 From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 692 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1695 times:

The whole premise of the western justice system is that once you do your time, you have "absolved" yourself from whatever deed you have done. It doesn't matter if it is murder or speeding. We no longer stick a hot iron over someones face and brand them a criminal for life, I don't see any difference with this crime. Especially, because we don't have any of the specific details of the case. For example, in some states, when dealing with felonies and minors, certain restrictions/allowances can be written into such things as the plea bargain.

Although many states seal records, there can still be exceptions written into the plea. This could be something like "little Johnny committed a felony at age 13, but he wants to work for the TSA. We have sentenced him to 100 hours extra community service/jail time, but will allow him to apply for a position with the TSA for completing this extra time."



Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3621 posts, RR: 15
Reply 22, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1673 times:

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 15):
But crimes against wheat, barley, oats and other cereals is certainly a serious issue.

I totally agree and I apologize wholeheartedly. I take this issue seriously and have taken steps in my personal and professional life to rectify these shortcomings. Thank you.


User currently offlineluv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1665 times:
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Quoting silentbob (Reply 13):
Quoting PI731 (Reply 12):
I fly in and out of Richmond all the time for work. I wish I knew his name. I'd look him up next time i go to RIC!

Just ask one of the agents if he is the convicted felon, I'm sure they will be happy to let you know.

Not sure it would narrow it down much   

Quoting 757luver (Reply 14):
The question I would be asking is why is he even working for the TSA after lieing on his application. I know you cant really trust what you see in the media, but according to the article he didn't divulge the information but was found in a background check. That would be a condition for not being hired at a lot of places.

Exactly. I've heard of regionals who will turn away an applicant if the hours stated on the resume don't match the logbook total on the date the resume was sent, because assuming that you'll get 5 hours in the week or two it'll take for the resume to be read is basically lying.

Many employers (and people in general) would rather hear an inconvenient lie vs. some sugar coated BS.

Quoting 757luver (Reply 14):

Hypothetically, lets say he has some while working at the airport and has it out and someones coming along, who's to say he wouldn't put it in someones bag just to get it off his person. Would hate to be the passenger whos bag he stuffed it in.

You mean like this situation, where Philly TSAgent did just that?

http://www.gadling.com/2010/01/21/ph...ruel-drug-baggie-joke-on-traveler/

Quoting Kaiarahi (Reply 16):

How about a 17 year-old who fondled his 17 year-old girlfriend's breast - that'll get you on the sex offender registry for life in many states? Should it disqualify you from ever getting a security clearance?

I was unable to find even one case of that occurring, and I looked at the Economist articles you were referring to.
Please point us to a docket, reliable article, anything. Before someone jumps on me saying it's no relevant to the discussion..yes, it is. If someone is throwing "what if" situations out there, on footing that is factually incorrect, it renders their point moot.

Quoting FlyDreamliner (Reply 17):

And yes - if someone has such a problem with inappropriate fondling that they've been convicted of a felony for it, they should not be allowed to be a TSA officer, especially given how many issues they've had with screeners inappropriately frisking passengers. Trust is a big part of what they do. If we can't have any faith (I know they don't give us reason to have much), the system works very poorly.

Exactly. There's no shortage of people with clean backgrounds. It's not whether or not the law is justified or fair, it's whether or not they followed an existing law. As much as I loathe the 3.4 oz. rule, I respect the agents who deal with pax who yell and moan about how they "need" than suntan lotion, and about how they'll "Sue the governor" if they get skin cancer (actual comment I overheard at MCO). Just because an agent doesn't agree with the inane regulation doesn't make it ok for them to ignore contraband, much as not agreeing with a law doesn't make it ok to commit a crime.

Put another way: I, along with millions of others, regularly go 15+ mph over the speed limit. I have no qualms about doing this, but if I get pulled over, I have no one to blame but myself.



When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
User currently offlineafay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1604 times:

Quoting Lufthansa411 (Reply 21):
The whole premise of the western justice system is that once you do your time, you have "absolved" yourself from whatever deed you have done. It doesn't matter if it is murder or speeding. We no longer stick a hot iron over someones face and brand them a criminal for life, I don't see any difference with this crime. Especially, because we don't have any of the specific details of the case. For example, in some states, when dealing with felonies and minors, certain restrictions/allowances can be written into such things as the plea bargain.

Although many states seal records, there can still be exceptions written into the plea. This could be something like "little Johnny committed a felony at age 13, but he wants to work for the TSA. We have sentenced him to 100 hours extra community service/jail time, but will allow him to apply for a position with the TSA for completing this extra time."


I agree, there is an inherent tension between the Western conception of "paying one's debt to society" and whether we functionally observe the rule. Now this guy, to get an actual felony conviction, probably did more than swipe a candy bar, but we don't know that as Lufthansa411 rightly points out. I don't think he was applying for a security clearance, let alone a high one; rather for access to secure areas. If it is true that he lied on the form, and there isn't some convoluted reason why he isn't technically required to put it (which there can be), then I suppose he should have been out of luck. But if the hiring regulations actually state that one can have a felony conviction and still be hired, I guess that is what they say. Now, my non-empirical experiences would lead me to be FAR more worried if were going to apply to be a baggage handler!


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5602 posts, RR: 6
Reply 25, posted (4 years 6 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1567 times:

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 1):
for the same security clearance (or is it different? do TSA people get higher than DL people?

I love telling this to people:

I have been through more background checks than most TSA agents, and can do things they generally can't (like handle US mail).

Quoting xtoler (Thread starter):
ex-felon
Quoting xtoler (Thread starter):
within the last 10 years so

Certain felonies within the last ten years generally prohibit a person from getting a security clearance.

What I find most disturbing is that SIDA badges are issued by an airport authority, NOT the TSA. How or why the CRAC (who came up with that name??) simply submitted to TSA's "unspecified consequences" is puzzling.

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 3):
Should an 18 year old kid caught with a pound of weed be considered a felon just like a cereal murderer?

When it comes to gaining security clearance, absolutely. Heck, I'd consider the drug dealer more dangerous to the security of aviation than a serial killer.

Quoting 757luver (Reply 14):
but according to the article he didn't divulge the information but was found in a background check. That would be a condition for not being hired at a lot of places.

And fired. It wasn't found out until after he was hired either. Yikes.

Quoting Lufthansa411 (Reply 21):
The whole premise of the western justice system is that once you do your time, you have "absolved" yourself from whatever deed you have done.

Not even close, and especially for gaining any kind of security clearance.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
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