I-Team: Investigating explosive claims about Hopkins Airport security

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CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I-Team is investigating alarming claims about your security at Hopkins Airport outlined in a letter from the former head of security there as he resigned.

Howard Phillips recently stepped down.

And in his resignation letter, Phillips, in effect, calls out city hall.

He wrote, he resigned, in part due to the “lack of support to make the changes needed to be compliant with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations…”

And he wrote, the lack of support “exposes the airport to additional (investigations) and fines for non-compliance…”

Initially, when he resigned, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and a city hall spokesman told us they had no idea why Phillips had suddenly left his job.

Wednesday, we asked spokesman Dan Williams why he and the mayor had said they didn’t know the reasons behind the resignation when the letter is specific. And Williams said he and the mayor had not immediately seen the letter or been told what was in it.

We’ve seen a drunk driver barreling onto the airfield. Another man climbing into a restricted area. City officials bypassing checkpoints. And, when the driver went onto the airfield no one at Hopkins knew what had happened for hours.

Dan Williams said, "My understanding is they have exactly what they need…to do what they need to do... at the airport."

But the city has never explained how no one noticed for hours a driver had gone onto the airfield. And even now, city officials hiding behind the feds saying they won’t be explaining.

Dan Williams added, "Again, the TSA has said they're not going to respond to that question, therefore, we will not be able to respond to that question."

The I-Team also reviewed the former security manager's personnel file. City hall just released dozens of pages. But what stood out, what we didn't see -- didn't see anything about discipline, didn't see anything about any of the recent security incidents -- nothing at all.

In the end, the last words of the former security manager at Hopkins Airport are no cause for alarm at city hall.

Meantime, on Wednesday, the drunk driver who had gone onto the airfield found out his punishment. Daniel Allen just went to jail for 90 days. And, he’ll get a bill for $43,000 to cover the cost of damages at the airport.

**Continuing coverage**

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