Erroll Southers on Monday announced his plans to resign as assistant LAX police chief. The former FBI agent spent two years as the second-in-command for the LAX department before being thrown into a firestorm when he was nominated by President Barack Obama to run the U.S. Transportation and Security Administration.
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He pulled his candidacy last month after allegations surfaced that he dug into the background of his ex-wife's then-boyfriend in the 1980s by using law enforcement databases.
He said he wants to expand his teaching at USC and will probably end up as a private security consultant as well. Southers reportedly will leave the job at the end of the month.
"We are disappointed that Chief Southers has decided to leave his very important position at LAX," stated Marshall McClain, president of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association. "His unique background and expertise in homeland security made LAX safer and more secure. It will be a challenge to find someone of his stature to fill this vital position. He will be greatly missed by the thousands of federal and local law enforcement and security personnel assigned to protect to LAX."
It's not exactly the best time for the airport to lose a key counter-terrorism expert: The Obama administration has warned that Al-Qaeda terrorists will likely attempt another attack on U.S. soil by summer. LAX has been a target in the past, and if the World Trade Center serves as an example, it likely remains on Al-Qaeda's map.