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October 09, 2015

Rep. Bob Brady wants investigation into alleged papal security breach

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady has contacted the Department of Homeland Security, requesting an investigation into claims of an alleged security breach during the pope's visit to Philadelphia.

On Oct. 7, Brady sent a letter to Jeh Johnson, U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, asking for an investigation into "serious potential security breaches" at papal venues. 

But Stan White, Brady's chief of staff, said that Brady's office doesn't know if the breach occurred. Instead, he said, they wanted to request an investigation to determine the validity of the claim and to investigate the breach, if it did indeed occur. 

"It's a serious allegation about a security breach," said White.

Claims that a breach occurred during the visit were made initially by Brian Burrows, president of Local 98 electricians union in Philadelphia, in a letter he sent to the Secretary of Homeland Security on Oct. 1. 

In a new letter, dated Oct. 9, Burrows asks the Secret Service to investigate NBC 10, claiming a non-union cameraman used incorrect identification to access a secure area. 

Burrows claims in the letter that following a strike by 60 members of Local 98, all NBC10 employees, the television station allowed a replacement cameraman to use identification belonging to news director, Anzio Williams, in an effort to get into secure areas during the papal visit. 

Burrows claims that on Saturday, Sept. 26, after the cameraman was stopped and had Williams' identification removed, he was later able to get credentials.

According to Burrows, the replacement cameraman was then able to gain access to the pope's address at Independence Hall. 

"This constitutes a major breach of security protocol for which NBC 10 should be investigated," reads Burrows' letter. 

Currently, White said, Brady's office has received no response from the Department of Homeland Security concerning the validity of Burrows' claims or if an investigation will take place.