JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska state lawmaker is making her way back to the state Capitol after refusing a pat-down search at a Seattle airport, a spokeswoman said.
Rep. Sharon Cissna underwent a body scan as she was preparing to leave Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Sunday and was then required to undergo the pat-down by Transportation Safety Administration officials, said Michelle Scannell, her chief of staff.
Scannell said the TSA called for the pat-down because the scan showed Cissna had had a mastectomy.
The TSA, on its website, says security officers "will need to see and touch your prosthetic device, cast or support brace as part of the screening process."
Scannell did not elaborate beyond the statement. TSA spokesman Kawika Riley, after being asked to respond to Cissna's comments, issued a general statement that did not mention Cissna or the Anchorage Democrat's claims.
Scannell, in her statement, said Cissna was ordered to submit to a "very intrusive pat-down or leave the airport." She said Cissna, who had been in Seattle for medical treatment, was scheduled to return to Alaska via ferry.
Scannell could not immediately say how soon Cissna would return. The state Legislature is currently in the midst of a 90-day session.
Riley, in a general statement, said the TSA is "sensitive to the concerns of passengers who were not satisfied with their screening experience and we invite those individuals to provide feedback to TSA."
Riley did not immediately return a phone message Monday.
Both full body scanners and pat-down searches have come under increasing criticism as the TSA has stepped up its airport security measures.
Editor's note: To read Rep. Cissna's complete statement click here.