A Transportation Security Administration agent at LaGuardia Airport has been reassigned after a traveler photographed her napping while in uniform.
The unidentified agent has been reassigned to desk duty pending the investigation's outcome.
"I was shocked," Turco, 35, told the New York Daily News. "I've never seen a Department of Homeland Security official sleeping inside an airport," she said of the 8:15 a.m. encounter.
She might have been on a break. TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said agents have very demanding jobs. But Davis said they should use break rooms instead of resting in public areas.
Turco, 35, snapped a photo of the worker, who woke up about 10 minutes later during an announcement that the Frontier Airlines flight to Denver was boarding, the News reported.
After rising from her seat, the groggy employee immediately joined her colleagues who were performing secondary security checks at the gate, Turco said.
"In light of their recent follies, it just seemed that a federal agency beleaguered by bad news of late should probably worry about their image a little more," said Turco, founder and editor-in-chief of the counter-culture magazine Animal.
Another TSA worker was placed on administrative leave for allegedly leaving his post at Newark Liberty International Airport. A man breached security to kiss his girlfriend; the scare closed a terminal for six hours.