CHICAGO — City officials Thursday fired the head of the security force charged with protecting passengers at O'Hare and Midway airports.
Jeffrey Redding was terminated from his $118,020-a-year position with the Aviation Department, effective immediately, according to a statement from spokeswoman Lauren Huffman.
Assistant Commissioner Kevin Zator will oversee the 292-officer security force on an interim basis, Huffman said.
Redding's dismissal comes a week after Mayor Rahm Emanuel said "nothing and nobody is sacrosanct" in the investigation of the security force prompted by the media firestorm that resulted after Aviation Department security officers injured a Louisville doctor by dragging him off a United flight on April 9.
The Tribune reported April 21 that Redding was fired by the Illinois Tollway after officials received complaints that he sought sex and money in exchange for work-related favors.
Redding acknowledged to the newspaper that he had a consensual relationship with a female toll collector, but said that was not the reason he was terminated. Redding also denied he coerced the woman into having sex or giving him money.
The city's statement Friday gave no reason for Redding's dismissal, and representatives of the mayor's office and the Aviation Department did not respond to questions from DNAinfo.
Three officers involved in the incident have been suspended with pay.
Emanuel called the conduct of the security officers "totally, all-around unacceptable." Emanuel said Evans was due to complete a top-to-bottom review of airport security by May 5.
A proposal by 15th Ward Ald. Ray Lopez to fold the 292-officer Aviation Department security force — which costs the city $19 million annually — into the Chicago Police Department is pending in the City Council. Emanuel does not support that effort.
The Sun-Times reported that Redding was fired for failing to disclose that sexual harassment allegations prompted the tollway to fire him.