In the last week, a band of Republican congressmen has dogged his nomination with questions about a reprimand he received 22 years ago as an FBI agent and whether he is qualified to oversee the Transportation Security Administration, a massive department with 45,000 screeners at 450 airports nationwide.
As the issue flares in Congress, however, a broad section of Southers’ supporters — including California’s Republican governor, Los Angeles’ Democratic mayor and law enforcement officials who know him — insist the counter-terrorism expert is the right man for the job.
"I have met and worked with thousands of police officers and law enforcement officials on the federal, state and local levels," said James Butts, who retired last year as chief of the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department. "I have never met any person in this field with higher integrity and personal values than Erroll Southers. My nickname for him is ‘Captain America.’ "
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