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What significance did former acting administrator Mark Hatfield Jr. have on the TSA?

Former TSA acting administrator Mark Hatfield Jr. only held the position for about six months, from June to November of 2015. Hatfield's time as acting administrator is remembered for his attempt to cover up inappropriate behavior within the agency, which was revealed in 2018 after an investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

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Mark Hatfield Jr. was serving as the western hemisphere regional director for the TSA's Office of Global Strategies when he was tapped to become the TSA's acting administrator in June of 2015. He assumed this role in the midst of turmoil within the administration; the previous administrator, Melvin Carraway, lost...

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Mark Hatfield Jr. was serving as the western hemisphere regional director for the TSA's Office of Global Strategies when he was tapped to become the TSA's acting administrator in June of 2015. He assumed this role in the midst of turmoil within the administration; the previous administrator, Melvin Carraway, lost the position after airport security screeners missed sixty-seven out of seventy prohibited items in a series of undercover tests.

Hatfield's position, however, was temporary. He was to serve as acting administrator while the Senate vetted Coast Guard Vice Administrator Peter Neffenger, President Obama's pick for the role. Hatfield only served as deputy administrator until November of 2015, at which point he retired from the TSA to serve as chief security officer at Miami International Airport.

Unfortunately, Hatfield's brief tenure at the TSA is remembered for scandal. In 2018, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released the results of a two-year investigation which found that Hatfield and two other TSA officials had purposefully interfered with the administration's disciplinary process. In 2015, an internal TSA investigation found that an assistant administrator had acted inappropriately towards a subordinate and recommended his immediate removal. Instead of following this recommendation, Hatfield interfered in the disciplinary process in order to grant the charged administrator a mere fourteen-day suspension and reassignment to a different position with the same pay.

Although he has a decorated career in public safety, Hatfield's time as acting administrator of the TSA is remembered as another tumultuous chapter in an era of scandal and turmoil for the agency.

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