CLEVELAND — Longtime airport employee Eric Turner met a relative getting off a plane at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Turner then escorted his relative through secure areas of the airport to the employee’s city-issued car. The two then drove out of the secure parking area.
These and other details are outlined in a Jan. 7 letter the city sent to Turner notifying him of a discipline hearing about the matter. 3News received a copy of the letter through a public records request after the Transportation Security Administration notified Cleveland that it was investigating Turner’s actions.
(You can read the letter below.)
The letter says on that on Nov. 29, Turner, who oversees maintenance issues, returned to the airport’s secure parking lot with his relative and again escorted his relative through areas of the airport that require employees to display badges. The letter also notes that Turner’s relative was logged in at security as an IBM employee. Airport rules only allow employees to escort people through secure areas who are there for airport-related business. Two sources have told 3News that the relative is Turner’s brother.
Turner and his relative parted ways near the security checkpoint and the relative went through the normal security check before boarding the plane, according to the letter.
Turner met with city officials Friday to discuss the charges against him. The city earlier placed Turner on paid leave. The city is expected to issue discipline soon.
In October 2018, then-airport Assistant Director Fred Szabo helped Jackson’s Chief of Operations Darnell Brown get around security to catch a plane. Szabo, who had been discipline for security breaches before, was transferred to a job unrelated to the airport.