TSA firing 8 air marshals for drinking on duty

Airplane taking off
AP Photo/Michael C. York

(CBS News) The Transportation Security Administration is in the process of firing eight federal air marshals for drinking alcohol while on duty during a training session in New York. Six additional air marshals are being suspended for not reporting the misconduct.

A TSA spokesman said the incident happened in February at a New York restaurant. The 14 air marshals allegedly involved were taking part in a training session that day. They were not scheduled to fly, but were still considered to be on duty.

The TSA strictly forbids drinking for any air marshal deemed to be on the job.

"TSA holds all of its employees to the highest professional and ethical standards and has zero tolerance for misconduct in the workplace," the agency 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."

Of the eight air marshals being fired, one is a supervisor and one is a probationary employee. The probationary employee has been terminated and the other seven have the right to appeal. It's not known if any of them will file an appeal.

The FAMS who are being disciplined have turned in their weapons and their credentials have been pulled.

The TSA spokesman said the agency found out about the alleged drinking from a tip emailed to a TSA website used by employees to report bad behavior.