Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Former Hopkins Airport Honcho Fred Szabo Had a History of Security Violations According to the TSA

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 9:57 AM

TIM EVANSON/FLICKR CC
  • Tim Evanson/Flickr CC

Public records obtained by WEWS show that former Hopkins airport No. 2 honcho Fred Szabo, who was suspended and reassigned after being caught shepherding City of Cleveland Chief of Operations Darnell Brown to bypass airport security last year, had a history of security violations.

In a letter to the city, the TSA noted it was Szabo's third violation in two years.

"TSA believes that subject Szabo's airport issued access media should be permanently revoked as a result of his egregious actions which negatively impacted the security of our nation's air transportation system, the misleading statement(s) made by him to TSA within his Letter of Response (LOR) to our investigation against him and, the use of his position at the airport to dissuade proper security measures on the date of the incident," the letter read.

The news reinforces a few well-trod and disappointing trends when it comes to how the city conducts itself.



The first: That the city lies and obfuscates. As Cleveland.com and others sought records and information on the security violation last year, City Hall communications team members told reporters that the records could not be provided because the TSA would not authorize their release. The TSA, naturally, told reporters that was an outright lie.

The second: That deference to and protection of Jackson's top officials, at the detriment to public transparency and equal application of the rules, continues to rule the day. According to the records, a security manager who verified the violation was told not to report it to TSA until they had talked to Szabo directly. "If it had been different players, it would have been done right away," the person told investigators, according to the report.

Szabo and Brown spent nearly a month on paid leave while an initial investigation proceeded. Each received a minor slap on the wrist afterward while the administration made every effort to protect them — at the time the incident was revealed and the paid leaves ordered, the city wouldn't even name the two officials involved or describe the offending events.

If you're curious as to how Szabo explained away what he admitted to knowing was a violation of protocols, the internal report showed he told investigators "part of his DNA to help people."

The entirety of Frank Jackson's administration's DNA, meanwhile, is to lie and keep everything secret.

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

Tags: , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation