Eight air marshals fired for drinking during training

Story highlights

  • Six others face discipline for failure to report the drinking, TSA says
  • The incident took place during a training session in February
  • The eight marshals had alcohol during lunch at a restaurant
  • Some had their weapons at the time

Eight federal air marshals are being fired for drinking alcohol during training, and six others are being disciplined for not reporting it, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

The marshals, who typically fly with guns to protect commercial flights, were in New York in February for training and were not scheduled to fly that day.

The group, which included one supervisor, went to lunch at a restaurant, where eight drank alcohol, TSA spokesman David Castelveter said.

Some of the marshals had their weapons with them at the time.

The incident was reported to an internal federal air marshal website by a marshal who was there, and the TSA launched an internal investigation, Castelveter explained.

Under employment rules, seven of the agents will have a chance to appeal their terminations. One of the agents had recently been hired and was still on probationary status and so was fired immediately.

"TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace," Castelveter said in a statement. "TSA's decision to remove the individuals involved in the misconduct affirms our strong commitment to the highest standards of conduct and accountability."

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