Kelly Hoggan, the embattled head of security for the Transportation Security Administration, has been stripped of his duties, the House Oversight Committee announced Monday evening.
The move comes nearly two weeks after a contentious committee hearing and as lawmakers learned that Hoggan had received $90,000 in bonuses despite security snafus and long lines at US airports.
TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger said, “These adjustments will enable more focused leadership and screening operations at critical airports in the national transportation system.”
As passengers have been confronted by massive security lines at US airports, lawmakers found Hoggan had been awarded the bonus despite a Department of Homeland Security inspector general report highlighting “pitiful” security operations.
The bonus was paid out in roughly $10,000 increments, prompting accusations of “smurfing.”
During the House Oversight Committee hearing May 12, Neffenger said that when he joined “this organization last year, I found an organization with 5,800 fewer screeners and it had fewer front-line officers than it had four years previously.
And that was in the face of significantly higher traffic volume.”
Hoggan, TSA’s security chief since May 2013, was replaced by his deputy, Darby LaJoye, who will serve on an interim basis.
The agency is hiring hundreds more screeners that will come on board within weeks.
The TSA expects a 4 percent increase in the number of passengers this summer, about 231 million flight travelers in all.