Society

Video: TSA Hired Thomas Harkins, Ex-Priest Accused of Child Molesting, to Pat Down Passengers

| by Michael Allen

The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) hired Thomas Harkins, who left the priesthood because he was accused of sexually molesting two grade-school girls, without a background check in 2001 (video below).

Part of Harkins' job is doing pat downs on adults and  children at the Philadelphia International Airport, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The TSA hired Harkins without a background check because the agency quickly needed TSA agents after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, per the Patriot Act.

TSA Spokesperson Ann Davis told the Philadelphia Inquirer: "An allegation alone does not warrant dismissal or automatically disqualify applicants from employment with the TSA."

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Camden Diocese spokesperson Peter Feuerherd said that Harkins had been banned from being a priest or attending church services.