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Dozens of Honolulu airport screeners in trouble

HONOLULU -- Dozens of employees at Honolulu's airport were fired or suspended after an investigation found workers did not screen checked bags for explosives, the Transportation Security Administration said Friday.

The firings and suspensions amounted to the single largest personnel action for misconduct in the federal agency's history. It said in a statement that 28 workers were "removed," 15 suspended, and three resigned or retired. The cases of two other employees were still being decided.

The agency began an investigation at the end of last year after two Honolulu employees told officials that thousands of bags weren't checked properly or screened for traces of explosives.

The probe, which included interviews with more than 100 employees, determined that some checked bags during one shift at the airport were not properly screened.

In June, the TSA placed 36 of the workers on paid administrative leave as it began the process of firing them. It also suspended 12 workers at that time. The Honolulu airport has 750 TSA employees.

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents TSA workers, has said the employees faced pressure to make sure flights departed on time.

The workers can appeal the decision, the agency said. A TSA spokesman declined to comment because it involved personnel issues.