Published: March 27, 2010
Retired General Is Picked for T.S.A. (March 9, 2010) Maj. Gen. Robert A. Harding, a retired Army intelligence officer, was selected to take over the Transportation Security Administration, or T.S.A., just two and a half weeks ago, following the withdrawal of Mr. Obama’s first pick under fire.
No third choice was announced, and the back-to-back failed nominations mean that the job is likely to remain unfilled for months to come.
General Harding’s bid came unraveled after reports that his firm collected more federal money than it was entitled to for providing interrogators in Iraq.
In a statement, General Harding said, “I felt that I could bring some leadership, vision and intelligence expertise” to the post. “However, I feel that the distractions caused by my work as a defense contractor would not be good for this administration nor for the Department of Homeland Security.”
The president’s first nominee, Erroll G. Southers, a former F.B.I. agent and counterterrorism supervisor for the Los Angeles airport police, withdrew his nomination in January after giving conflicting answers about conducting police background checks on a man his estranged wife was seeing.