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"Airport authorities fire O'Hare Security Chief After Doctor DraggedOff United Flight"

Friday, April 28, 2017

Airport Security Chief Fired Weeks After Doctor Dragged Off United Flight 
By Heather Cherone 

CHICAGO - City officials Thursday fired the head of the security force charged 
with protecting passengers at O'Hare and Midway airports.

Jeffrey Redding was terminated from his $118,020-a-year position with the 
Aviation Department, effective immediately, according to a statement from 
spokeswoman Lauren Huffman.

Assistant Commissioner Kevin Zator will oversee the 292-officer security force 
on an interim basis, Huffman said.

Redding's dismissal comes a week after Mayor Rahm Emanuel said "nothing and 
nobody is sacrosanct" in the investigation of the security force prompted by 
the media firestorm that resulted after Aviation Department security officers 
injured a Louisville doctor by dragging him off a United flight on April 9.

The Tribune reported April 21 that Redding was fired by the Illinois Tollway 
after officials received complaints that he sought sex and money in exchange 
for work-related favors.

Redding acknowledged to the newspaper that he had a consensual relationship 
with a female toll collector, but said that was not the reason he was 
terminated. Redding also denied he coerced the woman into having sex or giving 
him money.

The city's statement Friday gave no reason for Redding's dismissal, and 
representatives of the mayor's office and the Aviation Department did not 
respond to questions from DNAinfo.

Three officers involved in the incident have been suspended with pay.

Aviation Commission Ginger Evans has apologized for the fracas that broke Dr. 
David Dao's nose, knocked out two of his front teeth and gave him a concussion.

Emanuel called the conduct of the security officers "totally, all-around 
unacceptable." Emanuel said Evans was due to complete a top-to-bottom review of 
airport security by May 5.

A proposal by 15th Ward Ald. Ray Lopez to fold the 292-officer Aviation 
Department security force - which costs the city $19 million annually - into 
the Chicago Police Department is pending in the City Council. Emanuel does not 
support that effort.

The Sun-Times reported that Redding was fired for failing to disclose that 
sexual harassment allegations prompted the tollway to fire him.
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