TSA training instructor charged with bribery

Posted: February 16, 2012

Federal prosecutors unsealed bribery charges today against a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) instructor at Philadelphia International Airport.

Shannon Gilliam, 29, of Sharon Hill, was charged by criminal information, a process which typically indicates a plea deal is in the works.

The information said Gilliam was employed as a security training instructor with the TSA.

He was responsible for training transportation security officers (TSOs) and to administer mandatory screening proficiency tests to TSOs who handle passenger and baggage screening at the airport.

TSOs had to receive passing grades on the annual tests in order to continue in their jobs as passenger and baggage screeners.

The charging document said that between August and October 2011 Gilliam took a $200 bribe in exchange for ensuring a passing grade on the mandatory, annual certification exam by taking the test for a security officer.

If convicted of the charge, Gilliam could potentially face from four to 27 months in prison under preliminary advisory sentencing guidelines.

A TSA official said both Gilliam and the security officer had been suspended indefinitely, pending the outcome of the investigation. 

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