Bush taps longtime fed to be transportation security chief

Bush taps longtime fed to be transportation security chief

President Bush yesterday signed the recess appointment of John W. Magaw as chief of the newly created Transportation Security Administration.

The new Transportation Department office will assume all airport security functions Feb. 17, including overseeing the systems that screen baggage and passengers. Congress mandated creation of the organization after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to focus on the security of domestic transportation services.

The president nominated Magaw Dec. 10 and sent the nomination to the Senate Dec. 13.

During congressional recesses, the president can fill key political positions without the Senate's advice and consent. Senate lawmakers still must confirm Magaw as undersecretary of Transportation for security, which an administration spokesman said would likely happen when Congress reconvenes Jan. 23.

Most recently, Magaw had been acting executive director of the Office of National Preparedness at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A former director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Secret Service, Magaw joined FEMA in December 1999 as senior adviser to the director for terrorism preparedness. He also had served as acting director and acting deputy director of the emergency response agency.

Magaw was ATF director from 1993 to 1999, following a 26-year stint with the Secret Service.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Magaw began his law enforcement career as a state trooper with the Ohio State Patrol in 1959. He has a bachelor's degree from Otterbein College.

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