Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Senator Amy Klobuchar is asking the Department of Homeland Security why it hired former Minnesota Department of Transportation emergency response director Sonia Pitt.

Pitt was fired on Thursday by DHS after just two months as a transportation security specialist at the department's Transportation Safety Administration, following a Star Tribune story about her hiring. Pitt got the DHS job about six months after MnDOT fired her for work schedule improprieties, including continuing an East Coast trip after the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge.

Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff Friday asking whether the department knew about the circumstances of Pitt's firing by MnDOT -- and if so, why she was hired.

Ellen Howe, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Safety Administration, says that an investigation is ongoing so she couldn't respond specifically to Klobuchar's letter. But she says it would be incorrect to assume that the agency's first contact with Minnesota officials was Thursday.