Longform

Winged Victory

Alex Carter, it is safe to say, is happy to have his job back.

In 2003 the Transportation Security Administration fired Carter, a screening manager at Miami International Airport. His dismissal came five months after Carter filed a sexual harassment complaint against his supervisor. Carter promptly filed a lawsuit.

Indeed Carter had a strong claim, producing other TSA witnesses who testified against the supervisor, Alex Miranda, along with a note Miranda penned complimenting Carter on the size of his privates and the condition of his derrire.

TSA officials originally ruled the advances were mere "locker room banter," according to Carter, and gave both men a letter of admonishment. Not long after, Miranda was promoted and Carter began receiving reprimands for everything from his "lack of approachability" to lingering too long at one screening station, leading to his August 7, 2003 dismissal.

Carter's complaint ultimately revealed deeper problems in the office. After Carter's lawyers began taking depositions, the TSA suspended two more supervisors accused of sexual harassment. One case has been closed, the charges unsubstantiated, and the other is open. It also came out that the man in charge of security for the TSA's Miami bureau was under internal investigation for a series of security breaches, including waiving security checks for friends and workers delivering office equipment. That investigation is still pending.

This past April the TSA settled with Carter, reinstating his job and compensating him for lost wages. Carter chose to work at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.



Miranda, meanwhile, has resigned.

"Alex got his job back, he was compensated for time he missed. I think it's fair to say he feels very vindicated," one of Carter's lawyers, Michael Feiler, says.

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Tristram Korten
Contact: Tristram Korten