A high-powered San Francisco finance manager was arrested — but appears not to be facing serious charges — Tuesday after allegedly pretending to be a TSA officer and leading at least two female travelers to a private security screening room at San Francisco International Airport.
KTVU reports that 53-year-old SF resident Eric Slighton had a ticket to Hong Kong when he, according to the police report, was allegedly was seen "waving at and entering the private screening room" with an Asian female traveler near the exit of the Area A security checkpoint in SFO's International Terminal before performing an unauthorized pat down.
He attracted the attention of a Covenant Security (the private company contracted by the TSA to secure SFO) staffer when he reportedly attempted to ensnare a second woman.
According to Matier & Ross, "male screeners are prohibited from taking women into the booth for a pat-down without a female screener also being present."
This isn't the first time that things appear to have fallen through the cracks for Covenant: an SF Examiner investigation from 2013 "documented numerous worker allegations about high-risk bags being routinely loaded onto planes at SFO each day without any human inspection."
In Tuesday's case, KCBS reports that Slighton had passed through security some hours earlier, and had been seen drinking in one of the airport bars.
According to the Aktis website, which lists Slighton as "Director":
Prior to his role as director and partner of Aktis Singapore, Eric Slighton was Managing Director of Barclays Capital in Hong Kong where he headed Asia Credit Trading and built Barclay’s Asia Credit Derivatives Trading & Structuring business. From 1996 to 2000 he was Managing Director at Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong, where he was one of the original Managing Director charged with transforming the bank’s Asia branch business into an international investment banking franchise. By 2000, he was Head of Deutsche Bank’s Asian Fixed Income and Foreign Exchange Sales overseeing a team of over 100 finance professionals across nine countries. Prior to this, he spent 10 years with Merrill Lynch in New York and Hong Kong in fixed income analytics, debt and equity derivatives trading and debt capital markets. In addition, Mr. Slighton has direct experience with independent entrepreneurship as co-founder and CEO of ComMira e-Solutions (San Francisco), a company specializing in business-process automation software.
When reached by phone, Slighton's father told M&R that "There was a time in the past when had drinking problem, but that was 10 years ago,...To the best of my knowledge, he doesn't drink at this time."
Airport law enforcement sources told M&R that Slighton, who has addresses in both SF and Hong Kong, later entered the security area in khaki pants, a blue polo shirt and blue rubber gloves that KCBS believes he "may have swiped...to look the part."
"They will be (investigating) this for a week," an anonymous law enforcement source told M&R. "Someone has to pay for this."
However, that "someone" is unlikely to be Slighton, himself. Since neither police nor Covenant staffers were able to track down the women Slighton had allegedly scammed or pawed, he was arrested only for public drunkenness and "suspicious occurrence." Unless the women come forward, those are the only charges he's likely to ever face.