Criminal background checks cost 10 airport workers jobs

CLEVELAND (AP) - Ten Cleveland Hopkins International Airport workers resigned or were fired as a result of criminal background checks which also may cost several other workers their jobs.

Most are food service workers, including many who would not have needed the background checks if the airport had not expanded its security checkpoints last month.

The airport is checking the backgrounds of 750 employees of private companies who work in the terminal. The federal Transportation Security Administration required the checks in an order issued Nov. 8, said airport commissioner Fred Szabo.

Of 600 workers checked, 72 may have criminal convictions that would prohibit them from working in "sterile areas" beyond the passenger screening checkpoints.

Szabo said that 22 of those workers were cleared for reasons including convictions that occurred long ago, misidentification or evidence that the workers had been convicted of misdemeanors rather
than felonies.

Four workers who had felony convictions were removed from their airport jobs by their employer, HMS Host, and six quit or were dismissed by their employers before the airport made a final
decision, Szabo said.

Airport officials and employers are interviewing the remaining workers who may have felony convictions.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)