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.

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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.