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Federal security chief at LAX unexpectedly steps down

February 12, 2010 |  4:07 pm

Larry Fetters, a former LAPD deputy chief who was federal security director for Los Angeles International Airport since 2003, has unexpectedly retired from the high-profile job, officials said Friday.

A spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration said the retirement was effective Saturday.

The move came as a surprise to some at LAX, and a spokeswoman did not offer a reason for Fetters' departure. One source said he had been planning his exit for some time.

The resignation follows the arrest in January of three TSA employees in connection with an investigation into counterfeited parking passes at an LAX employee parking lot. During the probe, investigators found a videotape that allegedly showed TSA employees using illegal drugs.

Marshall E. McClain, who heads the union representing 425-member LAX police force, said he was shocked by the resignation, which he said leaves a void at the airport that is all the more disconcerting given that it has been identified as a major terrorist target.

“It’s very concerning to the airport police officers that an identified terrorist target is [without a] security director,” McClain said. “It’s compounded by the fact that TSA has been without a leader on the national level for 13 months.”

--Andrew Blankstein