Another Homeland Security screwup

    The former top federal airport security official for Arizona violated security protocols, mismanaged her office, misused government vehicles and went on vacations without taking leave, according to a government report.

    Marcia Florian resigned in May 2005 after being placed on administrative leave amid an internal investigation. She had been appointed in 2002 as one of the Transportation Security Administration’s first federal security directors, responsible for screening and inspections at U.S. airports.

    Florian and Department of Homeland Security officials had declined to say why she was suspended, although Florian suggested in an Internet posting that she was a victim of politics.

    However, a report by Homeland Security’s inspector general, obtained by The Arizona Republic under a Freedom of Information Act request, shows Florian quit after investigators substantiated 10 of 16 allegations accusing her of violating agency ethics and policies. The six other accusations were found to be false or not provable.

    The substantiated charges include failure to report more than 40 days of missed work over a 27-month period; using cell phones to discuss airport security while she was in Mexico, where she owns a vacation condominium; using a federal vehicle as her personal car; and not being available when subordinates needed to contact her, the newspaper said.

    According to the report, Florian said she had not been trained in the required procedures for vacations and did not realize she was in violation. She said she did not recall discussing security measures during cell phone calls, always maintained contact with her office while she was out of the country, and felt entitled to a government car because of her work responsibilities.

    Efforts to locate Florian for comment Monday through Maricopa County property records were unsuccessful. There was no immediate response Monday to a message seeking comment from a Marcia Florian in Tempe. The Republic said it also could not reach her for comment.