By Keith Laing - 10/28/11 07:20 PM EDT
The Transportation Security Administration worker who left a sexual note for a passenger will be fired, the agency said Friday.
Earlier this week, TSA said the employee at Newark, N.J.'s Liberty International Airport had been removed from baggage-handling duties after he left a note in New York blogger Jill Filipovic’s bag, which reportedly contained a sex toy. The note stated “Get her freak on girl.”
Filipovic, who is also a lawyer, tweeted a picture of the note, which was written on a TSA notice of inspection form.
A spokesman for TSA said Friday that the agency intends to increase the penalty for the responsible worker beyond simply being removed from checking bags.
"As soon as TSA completed its investigation of the matter, action was initiated to remove the individual from federal service," TSA spokesman Kawika Riley said in a statement. "Like all federal employees, this individual is entitled to due process and protected by the Privacy Act. During the removal action process, the employee will not perform any screening duties.
"TSA views the handwritten note to be highly inappropriate and unprofessional and apologizes for this unfortunate incident," Riley continued. "TSA has zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior by our employees as occurred in this instance. When this is brought to our attention TSA takes swift and appropriate action. Additionally, an agency official has reached out to the passenger to apologize personally."
Filipovic said earlier this week that she appreciated the apology, but she did not want to see the employee fired.
"It’s easy to scapegoat one individual here, but the problem with the note is that it’s representative of the bigger privacy intrusions that the U.S. government, through the TSA and other sources, levels every day,” she wrote on her blog this week. “The invasion is inherent to the TSA’s mission, regardless of whether a funny note is left behind — the note only serves to highlight the absurdity of all this security theater.”