Following are stories from the West County Times and the Orlando
Sentinel about former Richmond Police Chief Joseph Samuels accepting a
Federal security appointment at Orlando International Airport.
COUNTY TIMES, July 1, 2004
Former police chief takes federal post
Former Richmond Police Chief Joseph Samuels Jr. will take a federal
security post at Orlando International Airport in Florida this summer, a
U.S. Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman confirmed
Samuels, who resigned under pressure in August from his Richmond job,
will serve as a deputy federal security adviser, TSA spokeswoman Lauren
Stover said. Samuels previously served as police chief in Oakland and
Stover said Samuels' hire will be formally announced in Florida on Aug.
Security chief leaves OIA post
Sentinel Staff Writer
July 2, 2004
The nation's transportation security agency is overhauling the senior
security team at Orlando International Airport, moving a former airline
industry veteran into the top management slot, federal officials said
On the way out is Charles Lutz, the airport's federal security director
since mid-2002, who will become an operations executive at
Transportation Security Administration headquarters in Northern
Agency officials said Lutz is being transferred as part of an effort to
bring more field experts into the headquarters operation.
Replacing Lutz will be Art Meinke, currently the airport's deputy
security director and a former general manager of United Airlines'
operations at Miami International Airport.
And, in the most intriguing move, the agency hired career law
enforcement official Joseph Samuels Jr. as OIA's next deputy security
director. Samuels, a past president of the International Association of
Chiefs of Police, is a former police chief for several Bay Area cities
in California, including Oakland and, most recently, Richmond.
Samuels' career has been marked by controversy in recent years. Last
year, he resigned under pressure from the Richmond City Council, which
criticized his "hands-off" management style and lack of progress in
lowering the crime rate.
Some community leaders applauded his efforts, and the city itself
recognized his work on an anti-blight campaign, training advances and
disaster/terrorism preparedness. But the city's positive recommendation
came as part of its severance pact with Samuels, in which he agreed not
to sue the municipality.
Federal officials said they examined his background and found no
negative issues relevant to his job at Orlando International.
"Whatever the circumstances were in his departure from the previous
position, it was not performance-related but rather because of local
political issues," said Lauren Stover, a TSA spokeswoman.
She said the agency expects the new management team to benefit from
combining Samuels' law enforcement expertise with Meinke's aviation
industry experience. Before joining the team at Orlando International
last year, Meinke helped lead a major expansion of United's Miami hub.
"We see tremendous value in having a person with that kind of aviation
background paired with someone who has a strong law enforcement
background," Stover said.
Neither Meinke nor Samuels could be reached for comment.
Although Meinke's experience could prove to be a strong asset, critics
of the TSA remain skeptical.
"Overall, the agency continues to be an odd mix of dysfunctional
management," said David Forbes, an aviation-security expert with The
Boyd Group, a consulting firm based in Denver. "From the early days, the
security director and assistant positions were filled by people not
necessarily because of their expertise in aviation, but for their
experience in law enforcement, the Secret Service and other areas."
Meinke will take over when Lutz reports for orientation in his new job
at the security agency's headquarters. The new hires will become
official in early August.
OIA officials said they expect the transition to be smooth.
"We wish Mr. Lutz much success in his next position, and we will
continue to work with the airlines and TSA in providing an efficient
passenger-screening process at Orlando International," said Bob Raffel,
senior director of public safety at the airport.
The departing Lutz said he felt a strong sense of accomplishment from
his work in Orlando, where he took over a fledgling organization at the
airport and put together a staff of more than 1,000 security
"We made all our deadlines here, and I think we are among the top major
airports in the country in terms of passenger screening and overall
security," he said.
Richard Burnett can be reached at