Culture Wars/Current Controversies

TSA Hires Priest Accused of Molesting Girls, Lets Him Do Pat Downs on Kids

From Just Khaotic. Bloke sounds like their perfect candidate.

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You would expect that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) would do good background checks on its prospective employees.  But this doesn’t appear to be the case, after it was determined that the organization hired a priest who’d been defrocked for allegedly molesting two girls in grade school.

The shamed former man of God was given the responsibility of patting people down at the airport in Philadelphia, including young children. The Philadelphia Inequirer reported  that 65-year old Thomas Harkins was pushed out of the priesthood as a result of the allegations.  We’re not sure why he didn’t go to jail instead, but the priesthood has been long criticized for not seeking criminal penalties for priests, even when they’ve been accused of harming children.

The TSA justified its decision by stating that “[a]n allegation alone does not warrant dismissal or automatically disqualify applicants from employment with the TSA,” spokesperson Ann Davistold the Inquirer.

TSA said that they didn’t check the priest’s background because they desperately needed agents at the time and didn’t have time to check everyone.  This was shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks, when the organization was hiring large numbers of agents at the same time.

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