More than 60 Transportation Security Administration employees at Pittsburgh International Airport are facing punishment -- up to possible termination -- after an internal investigation revealed that they were gambling on the job, the government agency said.
A several-month-long investigation by the TSA's Office of Inspection revealed that the employees had been running pools for sporting events like March Madness and the Super Bowl, an official said.
Today, 10 employees received letters of reprimand; 47 were informed they face possible suspensions of between three and 14 days; and five employees found to have run the gambling were told they could be terminated.
Employees are afforded due process and can appeal their penalties, according to the TSA. When hired, employees receive a handbook on responsibilities and conduct, which includes a clause prohibiting gambling.
A TSA official stressed that "the integrity of the security process was not impacted," and categorized the gambling as "extracurricular."
"TSA holds all of its employees to the highest standards of conduct and accountability. The agency has taken the appropriate and necessary steps to discipline those involved, to include employment termination, suspensions or letters of reprimand," TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said.
Most of the employees are members of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 332.
Local 332 president Kimberly Kraynak-Lambert said: "We are going to appeal every decision and defend our officers. Most have been with the TSA for 11 years and have been dedicated federal employees with spotless records."
She called the gambling allegations over-exaggerated and absurd.
"We care about what we do," Ms. Kraynak-Lambert said. "TSA is our mission, and to protect the American people. We would never put anyone at risk."
Lexi Belculfine: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc.