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LAX police file claim alleging whistle-blower harassment

The Theme Building at LAX.

The labor union representing law enforcement officers at Los Angeles International Airport has accused police supervisors of harassing union leaders who point out what they believe are security and safety flaws.

The Los Angeles Airport Police Officers Assn. made the accusations in a claim for damages filed late last week with the city of Los Angeles. If the city rejects the claim, the association can proceed with a lawsuit.

Association officials, who represent officers who patrol LAX, LA/Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys Airport, allege they have been the target of disparaging remarks by police department managers and prohibited from addressing the rank and file during roll-call meetings.

Marshall McClain, president of the association, contends union leaders have been singled out for being whistle-blowers and focusing attention on serious safety problems at LAX and other city operated airports. Despite the $4-billion modernization of LAX, he asserts that safety issues are not being addressed at the nation's third-busiest airport.

The claim states that seven of the association’s 10 board members are either the target of an internal investigation or have a pending grievance with management, which "further demonstrates the hostility that defendants direct at the association."

Association officials also allege that four airport police officers have been given unwanted reassignments or have been taken off preferred shifts because they are union board members.

The Los Angeles Airport Police Department officials said they are reviewing the claim.

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--Dan Weikel

Photo: The Theme Building at LAX. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times.

 
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