June 30, 2012- Eight federal air marshals, one of which is a supervisor, are being fired by the Transportation Security Administration. The agency claims the marshals drank alcohol during a training day. Six other marshals were suspended for not reporting their colleagues’ misconduct, said TSA officials late Friday.
The 14 TSA air marshals all are part of the New York office. All of the marshals can appeal their firing or suspensions except for one who was a probationary employee and fired immediately. The TSA alleges the drinking took place in February at a restaurant and was reported to an internet site that permits employees to let leadership know of any inappropriate behavior that is taking place amongst their colleagues.
All of the marshals were training that day and not were scheduled to fly on duty. However, the TSA said consuming alcohol anytime on the job is strictly forbidden. It was not known if any of the marshals had retained attorneys to represent them. On Friday, those that were being terminated had to turn in all their credentials and weapons.
A spokesman for the agency said that the TSA holds its entire staff to the highest ethical and professional standards with zero tolerance for any misconduct during work. The spokesman said the decision by the TSA to terminate the individuals affirmed its strong commitment to high standards of accountability and conduct.