Amid Federal Air Marshal Scandal, Lawmakers Debating Program’s Merits

18 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

3 US Air Marshals Accused Of Hiring Prostitutes, Recording Sex With Government-Issued Device.

The head of the Federal Air Marshal Service acknowledged at a hearing Thursday that several agency officials are under investigation over allegations they hired a prostitute overseas and recorded at least one sexual encounter with a government-issued device.

A new report states that two air marshals have been suspended for hiring prostitutes while overseas and using their government-issued phones to tape and share their sexual encounters. The investigation of the three, who are from the Chicago field office, is expected to be the subject of a congressional hearing Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The disclosure follows on the heels of a report earlier this year by the Center for Investigative Reporting’s online outlet Reveal that air marshals’ schedules were being rearranged for the purpose of sexual trysts, at times leaving high-risk flights without law enforcement coverage.

Lawmakers have focused their attention on questionable behavior by federal law enforcement officials since a 2012 prostitution scandal involving the Secret Service. Former Attorney General Eric Holder advised Justice Department staff in April that it was against department policy to hire prostitutes, regardless of whether the practice was legal in a particular jurisdiction.

He did not mention the case in written testimony sent to the panel. “If these allegations are accurate, they are obviously inappropriate for anyone, let alone air marshals charged with securing our skies,” the Maryland Democrat said. At the Chicago Air Marshal Headquarters near O’Hare, the three marshals were put on unpaid leave this summer, according to sources familiar with the investigation. Henshaw said the suspensions, first reported by The Intercept, an online publication, are expected to come up during questioning at Thursday’s hearing. Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who heads the oversight committee, called for an investigation in March to examine personnel actions taken by the air marshals service to address improper behavior. Allison’s prepared remarks for the hearing does not address any specific allegations, but rather highlights the high standards for conduct that the agency expects of employees. “TSA sets high standards for the code of conduct for all of our employees, especially law enforcement personnel,” Mr.

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