Source says head of security at Boston airport will be ousted

By Steve Leblanc Associated Press Writer
Tuesday October 02, 2001

BOSTON (AP) — The head of security at the city’s Logan Airport is being ousted, three weeks after terrorists crashed two planes hijacked from the airport into the World Trade Center, an official in the governor’s office said Monday. 

Joseph Lawless had handled security for then-Gov. William Weld when he was appointed in 1993 as the head of public safety at the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan, the Port of Boston and several regional airports. 

“He will be removed very soon,” the source said. 

Gov. Jane Swift was scheduled to make a speech Tuesday night to discuss her plans for tightening security at the Massachusetts Port Authority and throughout the state. 

A call left for Lawless’ spokesman after business hours Monday was not immediately returned. Lawless has an unlisted home phone number and could not be located for comment. 

It was unclear whether Lawless would be reassigned to another position after his removal from the $130,000-a-year security post. 

Swift on Monday called security lapses at the airport “unacceptable.” About 150 National Guard members will be assigned to Logan and the state’s other airports starting Friday. 

“I believe Logan is safe, although I think we need to continue to address unacceptable security breaches there,” she said. “I don’t think we should engage in buck-passing.” 

Lawless, a state police officer for 13 years, defended his credentials in the days after the attack. He also said preliminary findings suggested the hijackers had apparently boarded the flights without violating existing security measures.