Gov. Dannel P. Malloy bypassed security at a Connecticut airport while carrying his son's backpack in November, drawing objections from some airport officials, a newspaper reported Thursday.
The events at Bradley International Airport on the day after Thanksgiving were reported by the Hartford Courant, which obtained airport security camera footage showing the Democratic governor carrying the backpack through a private corridor to a departure gate.
Malloy and his wife, Cathy, were seeing their 23-year-old son, Samuel, off for a flight to Los Angeles after a holiday visit. While Samuel Malloy went through a federal security checkpoint, the governor is seen on video footage carrying his son's backpack on his shoulder while being escorted by his security detail through the nonpublic corridor.
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Malloy apologized in an interview with the Courant and said he and his family "were running a little behind" that day.
"It was kind of an absent-minded mistake," Malloy said. "And I am sorry. You know, to cause anybody consternation is not what I was trying to do. I was just trying to see my son off with his mother."
A spokesman for Gov. Malloy's office told NBC Connecticut the incident was a "mistake" and insisted "it has never happened before and will never happen again."
"Mistakes happen. That’s what this was: a mistake," Devon Puglia said in a statement. "It was a momentary error that was a product of constant traveling to, from, and across the state, and a product of the Governor’s wanting to see his son off at the airport as a father. While this was a simple mistake borne out of a parent carrying luggage for his son, it should not have happened.”
The Courant also reported that it obtained emails written by at least one airport official to other airport officials that said what the governor did was "a violation" of security rules and "this Governor is not above any law."
The Transportation Security Administration, which is in charge of airport security, found no violations during a review of the events and determined the backpack was not a threat, according to a TSA spokesman.
Malloy said if he had to do it over, he would have his son take his backpack through security.
For the past year, Malloy has made a push to increase tourism in the state and spend more money on transportation overall. In January, the governor and the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) debuted Bradley International Airport's first non-stop flight to Los Angeles.
That same month, he proposed a 30-year $100 billion transportation overhaul to improve the state's roads, bridges and railroads.