TSA, Sheriff Dispute Claims Of Wasteful Spending At Airports

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They provide security at the Watertown International Airport.

Without the deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, flights wouldn't happen.

The same goes for Ogdensburg City Police at the Ogdensburg airport and Massena Village Police at the Massena airport.

But according to a Transportation Security Administration official out of Syracuse, officers providing security at those airports were paid for work they didn't do.

Wayne Sparks told Syracuse.com that the TSA was spending more than $600,000 a year too much on local law enforcement officers at airports in Ogdensburg, Massena and Watertown.

Sparks said, "They were paid for eight hours when they were only there for two."

In a response, the TSA tells us, "The allegations of over payments are false."

It's something Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns echoes.

"For anybody to think that there's been any misappropriation of funds with in the county, the Sheriff's Department, the County Highway, the airport, wherever, that is just ludicrous," said Burns.

Burns says his deputies are at the airport about an hour before any flight and about a half hour afterward.

The county pays for the work, with TSA reimbursing.

"We have always went by the schedule the TSA has give us and there's never been an over payment," said Burns.

Massena Police Chief Timmy Currier declined to comment because of on going negotiations with the town over a new airport contract.

Calls to the Ogdensburg Village Police Department were not returned.

As for Sheriff Burns, he says deputies will still be at the Watertown airport just like they're scheduled to be.

See our earlier report

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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