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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
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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