YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Logan Airport to Reinstate Security Firm

November 22, 2001|Associated Press

BOSTON — A baggage screening company that was fired from Boston's airport for hiring criminals and allowing security breaches was ordered reinstated by a judge.

Superior Court Judge Allen van Gestel issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday after Argenbright Security Inc. argued that the law entitles it to notice and a hearing before its license can be revoked.

Argenbright, the nation's biggest airport security company, conducts screenings at checkpoints for Delta, US Airways and America West at Logan International Airport, the departure point for the American and United passenger jets that were hijacked and crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.

"I feel very comfortable that the way the law is written, we'll prevail in court," said state police Col. John DiFava, Logan's director of security. He revoked the Atlanta-based company's license Nov. 15.

The injunction had no immediate practical effect. When Argenbright was fired, it was allowed to operate at Logan until a Nov. 30 administrative hearing.

Argenbright had no comment Wednesday.

DiFava said he had not known that Argenbright had pleaded guilty last year in Philadelphia to violating federal rules on aviation security, including hiring convicted felons. It paid a $1-million fine, was placed on probation and agreed to conduct employee background checks.

He said he recently learned that Argenbright violated its probation last month by failing to conduct employee background checks required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

"The law says if you are a felon you can't have a license," DiFava said.

DiFava was appointed by Acting Gov. Jane Swift as Logan's interim public safety director in October after embarrassing security breaches.

In late September, a traveler walked from a parking garage to a US Airways gate without going through a metal detector because Argenbright employees left a checkpoint unattended.

Two weeks ago, an Argenbright employee left an exit door at a Delta concourse unattended for four minutes. Hundreds of travelers had to repeat security screenings.

Los Angeles Times Articles