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Joshu
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:50 am

Dozens of TSA employees have been fired from the TSA because of gambling in uniform.

It is very unsettling to hear of employees responsible for airline saftey behaving in such a reckless manner.


http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/...red-suspended-involvement-i/nZ2xK/
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Pellegrine
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:01 am

I was expecting something horrible. This just sounds like an office pool gone bad...

Too bad for the ones fired. Only 5 were fired though.
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TSS
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:10 am

Reading between the curiously specific-detail-free lines of the linked article, it sounds like the TSA agents at Pittsburgh formed and were participating in a simple football pool. While that is technically "gambling", and doing so in uniform while at work is a definite no-no, if it was indeed just a football pool then the consequences would seem to be a bit of an over-reaction on the part of management. However, that is just conjecture in the absence of details on my part and I look forward to finding out more about this story as it unfolds.
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Maverick623
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:16 am

Quoting Joshu (Thread starter):
It is very unsettling to hear of employees responsible for airline saftey behaving in such a reckless manner.

It was a friggen sports pool. Hardly "reckless", I have yet to hear of any office that doesn't have such a pool going... unless of course there's more going on (although I suspect there's a sizeable amount of politics involved).


Wow. I have (partially) defended a TSA employee. First time for everything...
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bergkampsticket
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:11 am

If this is the case it's hardly Casino Royale is it?
 
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Pellegrine
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:21 am

Quoting bergkampsticket (Reply 4):

Yes, looking at the thread title I was envisioning slots, crap tables, roulette, baccarat, poker tables all set up in the break room! Flashing lights even!
We fly JETS, we don't fly donkeys. Citizenship/Residence::: Washington DC, US; Vaud, CH; Providenciales, TCI (hence my avi)
 
skywaymanaz
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:11 am

I've been in many a Powerball office pool myself. Unless I've totally lost my mind doesn't the President announce his NCAA brackets every spring for March Madness? So there's no office pool on that at The White House? At any rate I'm sure TSA has bad apples that should be found out but question if this is an appropriate way of finding them. Seems like a waste of resources to bust an office pool but TSA does accel at wasting resources.

[spelling edit]

[Edited 2013-09-20 00:51:37]
 
jcwr56
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:04 pm

Sounds like someone wasn't allowed into the pool and decided a little paybacks in order.
 
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kgaiflyer
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:12 pm

Quoting rwy04lga (Reply 7):
This is not much different than that same group of employees pooling their money together to buy numerous Powerball tickets. Buying lottery tickets is 'gambling'. Would you still feel 'unsettled' had they bought them instead of this football pool?

If it is, then we've lost *every* agent at BWI, DCA, and IAD.
 
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par13del
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:13 pm

Thankfully they cleared these folks out before they moved on to bigger and more dangerous activities such as drinking, durgs and heaven forbid taking people's stuff, job well done NOT  

On a serious note, most nations in the world are presently going through economic difficulties, its an employers market, I'm sure that any job wanting to re-cycle their workforce with new hires for whatever reason can identify something to get rid of them, and since there are more folks on the outside looking to get inside there will be no sympathy and mucho support.
 
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enilria
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:57 pm

Quoting Joshu (Thread starter):
Dozens of TSA employees have been fired from the TSA because of gambling in uniform.

Huh, I figured they were gambling on breast size and belly button piercing using the inviso-scanner.
 
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Joshu
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:08 pm

My mistake guys, I thought it was worse than it really was. The thought of it being a simple office pool was not in my mind.
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masseybrown
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:13 pm

So strange. Every government office - military or civilian, federal or local - I've ever been in has sports pools for at least football and basketball.
 
rampbro
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:26 pm

“If they do it on the job it detracts from the safety of us passengers. So yea, it’s a huge problem,” flyer Loren Obrey said.

           

Next items up for crack-down from the TSA's Vice List: talking about Breaking Bad and high-fives
 
JAGflyer
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:27 pm

This is not an issue of an office lottery pool, it is genuinely illegal gambling. At first I thought they were fired for playing the lottery as a group. Setting up "pools" in order to bet on sporting events is not legal nor is it acceptable work behaviour at a government office.
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RWA380
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:33 pm

Quoting bergkampsticket (Reply 4):
If this is the case it's hardly Casino Royale is it?

The size of an infraction is not of issue. The only way I see this being an issue big enough to fire people over, would be if said employees, while on duty, were discussing and being distracted from their duties to participate in said conversation or activities, other than that, some working Americans are now unemployed and hopefully can still feed their families.
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Type-Rated
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:43 pm

But lotteries are run by the state in which they are located, aren't they? This should be considered "legal gambling".
Were they doing this out by security or in their break room? It sounds to me like some TSA manager got a wild hair stuck up his a**.
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bohica
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:30 pm

If they bet on the steelers, they deserve to be fired.      
 
Maverick623
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:49 pm

Quoting jagflyer (Reply 14):
This is not an issue of an office lottery pool, it is genuinely illegal gambling. At first I thought they were fired for playing the lottery as a group. Setting up "pools" in order to bet on sporting events is not legal nor is it acceptable work behaviour at a government office.

Oh boo hoo.

I have never heard of an office where a sports betting pool doesn't exist.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 16):
But lotteries are run by the state in which they are located, aren't they?

This wasn't a state-sanctioned lottery "pool", it was a private sports betting pool. Though technically illegal in some states (not sure if PA is one of them), you'd be hard pressed to find a prosecution in the last decade.
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atct
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:49 pm

5 less TSA agents...Yay...for the time being.
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KaiGywer
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:00 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 18):
This wasn't a state-sanctioned lottery "pool", it was a private sports betting pool. Though technically illegal in some states (not sure if PA is one of them), you'd be hard pressed to find a prosecution in the last decade.
§ 5514. Pool selling and bookmaking.
A person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree if
he:
(1) engages in pool selling or bookmaking;
(2) occupies any place for the purpose of receiving,
recording or registering bets or wagers, or of selling pools;
(3) receives, records, registers, forwards, or purports
or pretends to forward, to another, any bet or wager upon the
result of any political nomination, appointment or election,
or upon any contest of any nature;
(4) becomes the custodian or depository, for gain or
ward, of any property staked, wagered or pledged, or to be
staked, wagered, or pledged upon any such result; or
(5) being the owner, lessee, or occupant of any
premises, knowingly permits or suffers the same, to be used
or occupied for any of such purposes.


So technically illegal. That being said, this sounds like a ridiculous move by the TSA..
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kpitrrat
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:11 pm

Quoting atct (Reply 19):

Most articles say there are over 330 TSA employees working there. Seriously, anyone been through PIT lately. 330?

I don't want to see people get fired and but 330 seems a tad bit excessive.
 
phishphan70
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:24 pm

Quoting Joshu (Thread starter):
It is very unsettling to hear of employees responsible for airline saftey behaving in such a reckless manner.


Can you explain why this is reckless in your opinion? I ask because I view this as the oposite. In my personal experience, being involved in a football pool at work has brought my co-workers and I closer together, enabling us to work together more closely and effectively. It's all about building a team, and feeling comfortable with your co-workers.
That being said, if this is just a football pool as many others have suggested, I think this a vast overreaction on behalf of the TSA, and possibly a warning would have done the trick.

Just my 2 cents
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soon7x7
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:49 pm

Quoting Joshu (Thread starter):
It is very unsettling to hear of employees responsible for airline saftey behaving in such a reckless manner.


LOL...are you really that surprised? The only TSA agents that would command my respect would be the ones that had served our country fighting terrorists abroad and were given TSA positions once they returned as who else could better identify insurgents than them...I can't think of anyone else that better deserves to have a job handed to them then our returning soldiers. And since the Obama administration has so cleverly (not really) swept the term..."Radical Islamist" under the carpet, then why do we need them at all...I mean now...aren't we actually going to subsidize Al Qaeda in Syria. I'm sure they will be thankfull...IE:...no more threat...disband the TSA. I like wearing my clothing onto an airliner!
 
kpitrrat
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:50 pm

I'm trying to think how this is worse than say the cab driver taking you from the airport driving like a nut in heavy traffic talking to you about his family, pets, sport team, etc?

That is pretty unsafe in my opinion. It's not like potential terrorists have a schedule when such distracting and reckless conversation will occur.

Basically the "gambling" was displaying poor character,I can understand, but the conversation reckless? I get that right? Therefore, conversation at work (if it is at a TSA checkpoint) is reckless. Got it.
 
ltbewr
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:37 am

I suspect this was a lot more than a small pool, but rather agents involved in gambling with criminal elements, perhaps an agent for his fellow agents collecting/paying bets on the premises with organized sports betting groups. Such gambling could put the agent into a compromised position if they owe the bookies big bucks they can't afford to pay to let illegal stuff get by, like drugs, theft, stealing personal information from passengers and other things.
I know of government agencies that ban all gambling, pools, even lottery pools on site due to the risks of criminal elements being involved, the possible compromise of safety, theft, and other problems.
 
TomFoolery
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:59 am

Quoting Joshu (Thread starter):
It is very unsettling to hear of employees responsible for airline saftey behaving in such a reckless manner.

Airline (and for that matter, aviation) safety is the responsibility of the FAA, at least in the US. The airline is responsible for maintaining a safety protocol in accordance with standards set and approved by the FAA.

The TSA is responsible for Security.

Every uniformed unit of the US Government takes conduct in uniform very seriously. This is from the Bureau of Prisons, to US Coast Guard, to the TSA. There are standards of conduct that are defined by each agency, and illicit activity of any kind is generally forbidden, along with gambling and drinking (among others).

If there was evidence that betting was being done 'on the clock', this is an even bigger offense. This will either count under time card fraud, or illegal activities while on duty.

Back to perspective...a betting pool?!?!?!? Unless this pool was consuming an inordinate amount of resources and proving to be a significant distraction to the business at hand, I could only believe that this is a ploy to get rid of unwanted personnel. To this end, they will likely fight it, and get their jobs back with back pay.

Tom
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GentFromAlaska
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:12 pm

Quoting TSS (Reply 2):
it sounds like the TSA agents at Pittsburgh formed and were participating in a simple football pool

It is that time of year. I was expecting something more juicy which would have included gambling ante being used left at the checkpoint or other items confiscated from the flying public.

I've heard a behind the scenes penny horseshoe game of sorts may also be in play which involves pitching coins against a wall.

It sounds like recurring mandatory ethics training needs to be incorporated into the TSA screener training. The same training government purchasing people are required to attend.

Quoting skywaymanaz (Reply 6):
I've been in many a Powerball office pool myself. Unless I've totally lost my mind doesn't the President announce his NCAA brackets every spring for March Madness? So there's no office pool on that at The White House?


The issue being TSA salary is funded with appropriated taxpayer dollars. A corporation is private and not held to the same standards. More and more it is becoming an ethics and appearance thing.

As to the President NCAA bracket picks. It only becomes gambling if some sort of ante is exchanged or is in play which would include any sort of monetary value. There's long legal term for it.

Some people participate solely as fans whatever sport if their forte. Years ago I played parley football cards for no other reason that to see if I could beat the odds makers. .
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masseybrown
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:23 pm

Despite occasional appearances, governement prosecutors aren't total idiots. A simple football pool, if that's what it was, would not likely have provoked this reaction.

There must be more to it ... I'd say stay tuned for more. Perhaps the pool operators were skimming? Great story, though!
 
L410Turbolet
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:07 pm

Quoting Joshu (Thread starter):
because of gambling in uniform

Take their deceiving, cop-like uniforms away. Problem solved. Win win for everyone.
 
ouboy79
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:17 pm

So how did 5 become "Dozens" in the thread title? Or did the OP just not read the article they linked?

>>Channel 11’s Renee Kaminski reported of the 311 local workers, five were fired, 47 were suspended and 10 letters of reprimand were sent out.
 
bobnwa
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5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:16 pm

Quoting jagflyer (Reply 14):
This is not an issue of an office lottery pool, it is genuinely illegal gambling. At first I thought they were fired for playing the lottery as a group. Setting up "pools" in order to bet on sporting events is not legal nor is it acceptable work behaviour at a government office.

Name me a single government office that doesn't have sports lottery pools. Itwould be a very pathetic place to work.
 
GentFromAlaska
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RE: 5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:42 am

Quoting bobnwa (Reply 31):
Name me a single government office that doesn't have sports lottery pools.

The Justice department for one. The Coast Guard for a second which is also a DHS agency. I know for a fact DHS prohibits participation in these types of office pools. DOT has had a zero tolerance policy in effect since the mid 1990's

These screeners were a rouge bunch who snubbed their noses at the rule book and got caught. This is a lapse of leadership and training.

You have to wonder why you don't hear about this type of stuff from in the other federal agencies. The TSA screener population just happens to be in the media cross hairs.
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alfa164
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RE: 5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:58 pm

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 18):
This wasn't a state-sanctioned lottery "pool", it was a private sports betting pool. Though technically illegal in some states (not sure if PA is one of them), you'd be hard pressed to find a prosecution in the last decade.

Actually, "gambling" is usually illegal under state laws only if someone (other than the winner) is making a proft (an income) from the operation. Individual companies or government agencies may have their own internal rules, but they are not based on state or federal gambling laws. Football polls and their ilk - as long is the winner(s) collect all the funds put into the pool - are not illegal gambling.
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Revelation
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RE: 5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:37 pm

Quoting skywaymanaz (Reply 6):
Unless I've totally lost my mind doesn't the President announce his NCAA brackets every spring for March Madness?

Yes, but what does that have to do with gambling?

Believe it or not, some people fill in the brackets just because they want to see how good they are at predicting the matchups, not because they are gamblers.

Quoting skywaymanaz (Reply 6):
So there's no office pool on that at The White House?

I don't know, do you?

My guess is they are too busy to be doing it, but neither you or I know.

Quoting skywaymanaz (Reply 6):
At any rate I'm sure TSA has bad apples that should be found out but question if this is an appropriate way of finding them.

Personally, I don't think they should just ignore reports of gambling on government time.

Can you imagine the stink that would be raised if the report was "TSA Officials Ignore Gambling on Government Time" instead?

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 8):
If it is, then we've lost *every* agent at BWI, DCA, and IAD.

Some would say that's a start!  
Quoting ltbewr (Reply 25):
I suspect this was a lot more than a small pool, but rather agents involved in gambling with criminal elements, perhaps an agent for his fellow agents collecting/paying bets on the premises with organized sports betting groups.

Actually the reports are calling it an 'office pool' with no hint of outside involvement.

http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4735953-74/tsa-employees-office

Some more info from that report:

Quote:

TSA's employee handbook bars employees from participating in any gambling activity while on duty or in uniform, including an office lottery or pool. It makes an exception for buying state-sponsored lottery tickets.

TSA's Office of Professional Responsibility started an investigation in February because it received a tip, officials said.

So it was an office pool that was investigated based on a tip.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 25):
Such gambling could put the agent into a compromised position if they owe the bookies big bucks they can't afford to pay to let illegal stuff get by, like drugs, theft, stealing personal information from passengers and other things.
I know of government agencies that ban all gambling, pools, even lottery pools on site due to the risks of criminal elements being involved, the possible compromise of safety, theft, and other problems.

I agree that should be the policy for TSA and for all government workers.

Most office pools I know of are for small amounts of money and the money is collected in advance so there's no issue of players getting their legs busted, but to me the problems it creates (peer pressure to participate, wasting time, squabbling) are greater than the problems it solves (team bonding etc). In government circles it's even worse because they are public employees.
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GentFromAlaska
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RE: 5 TSA Employees Fired In Pittsburgh

Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:38 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 34):
Believe it or not, some people fill in the brackets just because they want to see how good they are at predicting the matchups, not because they are gamblers.

  

Some form of monetary ante be it cash , a supply or service has to change hands or be agreed upon before it can be construed as gambling.
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