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TSA replaces security chief following criticism over hefty bonus

Washington: The US Transportation Security Administration has replaced head of security, Kelly Hoggan, amid controversy over a huge bonus of $90,000 that he was paid when airport security lines were growing, a congressional committee said on Monday.

"Kelly Hoggan has been removed from his position as head of security at TSA, following our hearing on May 12 on mismanagement at TSA," the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said on its official Twitter account.

"Despite significant security vulnerabilities, TSA's head of security took home $90,000 in bonuses over 13 months," the committee had tweeted earlier this month after a hearing on TSA's operations.

The TSA functions under the Department of Homeland Security. Kelly Hoggan's dismissal comes at a time when the wait times for security checks at US airports are causing protests.

"Obviously, waiting 3 hours for what may be a 2-hour flight or a 90-minute flight is not acceptable," Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson agreed after the hearing on May 13.

Johnso had vowed to cut wait times with what he called an "aggressive plan", that includes hiring more TSA agents, increasing the use of overtime, adding canine teams and promoting the pre-flight screening program.

In July last year, TSA director Peter Neffenger had promised a overhaul of airport security. At that time he said he was "greatly disturbed" by the performance of its agents after it was found that the TSA's passenger screening had a failure rate of 96 percent.