Saturday, July 24, 2004

Former Clinton appointee escourted off flight.....

Fisk president escorted off flight
Airline staff said she became abusive
Friday, July 23, 2004 Posted: 5:03 PM EDT (2103 GMT)

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- Fisk University's new president, Clinton administration Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary, was escorted off a flight and questioned by the FBI after she became abusive and tried to get into the cockpit while the plane was delayed on the tarmac, authorities said.

O'Leary said she simply wanted to get off the plane.

"I regret the unfortunate misunderstanding that occurred," she said in a statement. "The situation was resolved. At no time was I rude or disrespectful to anyone."

The United Airlines crew told police that O'Leary was "getting loud and abusive" after the flight was diverted to Richmond, Virginia, because of storms Thursday night, said Cpl. Frank Donkle of the Richmond International Airport Police.

A flight attendant restrained O'Leary when she tried to get into the cockpit, Donkle said, and she was escorted off the Nashville-to-Washington flight and questioned by the FBI.

Airport spokesman Troy Bell said he was not aware of any charges filed.

O'Leary, 67, became president of Fisk, in Nashville, earlier this month.

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