President Barack Obama’s choice to head the Transportation Security Administration, currently stalled by GOP senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, may face even tougher sledding if sensational steroid-use allegations made by the nominee’s ex-wife in a San Diego child custody case are true. Erroll Southers, a former FBI agent, now the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department assistant chief for homeland security and intelligence, has already admitted he misled Congress about illegally accessing FBI background records regarding his then-estranged wife Nancylee’s new boyfriend during the late 1980s. In October, Southers told the Senate’s homeland security committee that he’d used a San Diego police employee to pull the information. But a month later, Southers acknowledged he personally searched the FBI database and turned the results over to San Diego cops. When the FBI found out about it, Southers was internally censured.
“During a period of great personal turmoil, I made a serious error in judgment by using my official position with the FBI to resolve a personal problem,” Southers wrote. “This incident was over twenty years ago, I was distraught and concerned about my young son, and never in my career since has there been any recurrence of this sort of conduct.” Documents filed here in December 1997 show a couple caught up in a bitter, long-running custody fight over their son James.
Southers voiced concern about drug use by his ex-wife’s sister-in-law: “The fact is that she was addicted to drugs. I hardly felt it was appropriate then or now for her to reside in James’s home.”
Nancylee denied that narcotics were present in her Poway residence and in turn alleged she had “first-hand knowledge” that Southers “used steroids in the past.” According to the declaration, her former husband had been “very involved with body building” and asked her to “inject him during our marriage,” which Nancylee said she refused to do.
Southers responded that his wife “disliked the attention (magazines, photo shoots, etc.) bodybuilding brought, and her statement is a feeble attempt to discredit what I accomplished through years of hard work and dedication. The thought that I would risk my career and my health by using a controlled substance as an FBI agent is simply absurd and without foundation.”