WASHINGTON, May 24 (UPI) -- A top official at the Transportation Security Administration has been removed after a congressional committee questioned why the official received $90,000 in bonuses even though airport security lines wait times did not improve.
Kelly Hoggan, the Transportation Security Administration's assistant administrator for the Office of Security Operations, was removed May 12 following a hearing by the House Oversight Committee. The move was announced Monday evening in a tweet by the House Oversight Committee.
The committee grilled TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger over why Hoggan received the bonuses -- which took place before Neffenger took over the agency -- despite slowing security lines and a Homeland Security report that revealed various security failures at airports across the United States.
Neffenger said the long lines were due to the thousands of employees the TSA lost in 2014.
"When I came into this organization last year, I found an organization with 5,800 fewer screeners and it had fewer front-line officers than it had four years previously," Neffenger said. "And that was in the face of significantly higher traffic volume."
But the bonuses were paid to Hoggan in $10,000 installments, leading the committee to conclude the TSA was also trying to cover up the full sum of what Hoggan was receiving.
As part of Neffenger's strategy to streamline the TSA functions, he replaced Hoggan with Darby LaJoye, former head of security operations at Los Angeles International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to an email obtained by Fox News. LaJoye's hiring was effective immediately.