2 TSA agents in Denver fired over groping scheme allegations

Posted at 4:40 PM, Apr 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-15 04:38:29-04

Two security screeners at Denver International Airport have been fired after an investigation found that they manipulated passenger screening systems to allow one of them to grope male passengers.

According reports from the Denver Police Department, a Transportation Security Administration supervisor observed a female screener coordinating with a male screener in February to allow him to grope the crotch of a male passenger he thought was attractive.

The female agent allegedly set the screening computer to indicate a female passenger was being screened so that the machine would find an anomaly in the genital area, requiring a pat down.

According to the police report, the male agent was observed patting down the passenger "with the palms of his hands," which is against TSA policy.

"Any pat down like that should be with the back of the hands," said Jeff Price, an aviation management professor with Metropolitan State University of Denver. "And if you are a passenger and something doesn't seem right, you should notify the supervisor immediately."

The female screener told TSA investigators she had done this for the male screener at least 10 other times.

Police won't be filing charges because no victims have come forward. Attempts to contact the passenger seen by the investigator were unsuccessful. 

In a statement Tuesday, TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein called the alleged acts "egregious and intolerable."

"All allegations of misconduct are thoroughly investigated by the agency. And when substantiated, employees are held accountable," Feinstein said.