Three months after the Transportation Security Administration launched an investigation into improper screening of checked baggage at Honolulu International Airport, the agency has fired 28 employees and suspended 15 others.

The TSA made the announcement Friday following an investigation into 48 employees.

Three other employees quit or retired. It was not clear what happened to two other employees.

The TSA said in a statement, “The affected employees have the right to appeal the decision.”

‘Highest Ethical Standards’

The TSA-HNL story broke in March, and by June the federal agency said it would fire 36 of the employees.

In a press release at the time, TSA Administrator John Pistole said, “TSA holds its workforce to the highest ethical standards and we will not tolerate employees who in any way compromise the security of the traveling public. We have taken appropriate action through our newly established Office of Professional Responsibility and are committed to ensuring our high security standards are upheld in Hawaii and throughout the country.”

TSA said at the time that the investigation “determined that some checked baggage during one shift, at one airport location was not properly screened, impacting a limited number of flights each day during the last few months of 2010.”

The June statement continued:

TSA has taken the necessary steps to ensure every bag has been screened properly at HNL since the agency identified the issue. TSA routinely tests security operations to ensure that proper protocols are being followed, and investigates any indication of misconduct. TSA also utilizes a number of checks to ensure bags are being screened properly including the use of CCTV, random inspections, covert tests, as well as peer and management oversight.

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