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Rep. Kathy Castor calls for Air Marshal Service investigation

8:12 PM, Feb 1, 2010   |    comments
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U.S. Representative Kathy Castor

Tampa, Florida -- United States Representative Kathy Castor is calling for an investigation following the 10 Connects story about the management of the Federal Air Marshal Service in Tampa.

The Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) say the country is vulnerable to another attack, and they blame the huge number of Secret Service agents that are in management in the agency.

Photo Gallery: Federal Air Marshals criticize TSA
Read: Rep. Castor's letter to Homeland Security Committee

The FAMs say the managers don't have the faintest clue what they are doing, that they don't appreciate the job those in the field have to do, and just came into the agency and said, "We are Secret Service, we'll take it from here."

They also claim the Secret Service agents haven't undergone any rigorous anti-terrorist training, don't respect those in the field and have created a hostile work environment.

As an example they point to a "Jeopardy board" that was in the Orlando office. The FAMs claim managers played a game using derogatory terms for blacks, Hispanics, women, veterans and gay people who were not welcome in the agency.

According to the FAMs, there were categories like "Pickle Smokers," which would have gone after anyone who was gay. They had a "Buckwheat" category or "Our Gang" category, which specifically target African Americans and an "Ellen" category targeting lesbians.

CBS News Investigation: Marshals fight battle in air and on ground

As evidence the Central Florida Division was operating as a rogue office, the FAMs point out that after the election, both the Orlando office and the in Tampa initially refused to put up pictures of the President and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The FAMs say the pictures weren't put up until a black agent complained.

Rep. Castor, a Democrat from Tampa, says when you get bad eggs in an agency, it leaves a mark on everyone. She also says it isn't fair to the taxpayers. Castor is writing a letter to the head of the Homeland Security Committee saying Congress must do a timely investigation.

Previous Story: Air Marshals say system a complete failure, another 9/11 could happen

Mike Deeson, 10 Connects

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