Philly airport workers face firing in bribe probe

JOANN LOVIGLIO Associated Press Published:

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday it is seeking to fire seven Philadelphia International Airport workers who it says were involved in a bribery scheme.

In November, 10 employees were suspended from their security jobs amid accusations that they paid off a training instructor for passing grades on annual proficiency exams.

Following an eight-month investigation, TSA management at the airport and the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General concluded the employees participated in the scheme.

Three have since resigned, and the TSA said it is moving to fire the remaining seven.

"TSA holds all of its employees to the highest standards of conduct and accountability," Chris McLaughlin of the Office of Security Operations said in a written statement. "Any employee who willfully violates TSA rules will be held accountable for their conduct and appropriately disciplined."

Former TSA training instructor Shannon Gilliam pleaded guilty in February in federal court to taking a $200 bribe in exchange for ensuring a passing grade on the mandatory, annual certification examination by taking the test for the security officer. Gilliam's job involved training and testing people who worked as passenger and baggage screeners.

Gilliam was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and six months of house arrest to be followed by four years of probation.