TSA forces Richmond airport to issue access badge to convicted felon

In today’s episode of “what did the TSA do this time?”, the agency is under fire for not only hiring a convicted felon, but demanding that his assigned airport issue him an access badge.

The unidentified TSA employee was hired by the agency after passing their background checks – but when he applied for his airport badge, Richmond airport turned him down, citing a conviction for robbery when he was 18.

When the airport denied the badge application, the TSA demanded that they reconsider, citing “unspecified consequences” if they refused. To me, this sounds an awful lot like blackmail.

The employee had not mentioned the conviction on his TSA application, and it doesn’t look like it it would have mattered, because the TSA claims he actually committed the crime when he was 17, and that they don’t really care about a conviction at that age.

The airport access badge is required to obtain access to the “sterile” area of the airport, including the baggage sorting areas and airline parking spots. Of course, the job of a TSA agent also includes passenger and luggage screening – something convicted felons should not be allowed to do if you ask me.

Politicians are now getting involved, and U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor has asked the TSA to clarify their actions. Given the recent bad press for the TSA, it never ceases to amaze me how they continue to screw up, creating even more bad PR. Lesson to be learned? If you are a criminal planning to protect our skies, make sure you don’t commit any crimes after your 18th birthday.

What do you think?