Secret Service begins swift crackdown on carousing agents
As Congress demands action, the Secret Service is moving rapidly to punish agents connected to the scandal involving prostitutes in Colombia. Three have been forced out so far.
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Three agents – two of them supervisors – are leaving the Secret Service. One resigned, one has been allowed to retire, and one has been told he will be fired for cause. Another eight agents have been placed on administrative leave and had their security clearances suspended.
"The Secret Service continues to conduct a full, thorough and fair investigation, utilizing all investigative techniques available to our agency,” Paul Morrissey, assistant director of the US Secret Service Office of Government and Public Affairs, said in a statement. “This includes polygraph examinations, interviews with the employees involved, and witness interviews, to include interviews being conducted by our Office of Professional Responsibility in Cartagena, Colombia.”
Meanwhile, the top Republican and Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have laid out the information they want Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan to provide members of Congress.
As outlined in a letter to Mr. Sullivan from committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R) and senior Democrat Elijah Cummings, this includes “a complete description and account” of anyone involved or who knew about misconduct by agents and officers on the night of April 12-13, when agents allegedly brought prostitutes to their hotel rooms.
Lawmakers also are demanding a factual timeline of events, information regarding the age of the women involved (whether any were minors), summaries of any disciplinary actions taken against Secret Service agents and officers going back to 2007, as well as “agency failures or lapses that the US Secret Service identified that contributed to this incident.”
“The incident in Cartagena is troubling because Secret Service agents and officers made a range of bad decisions, from drinking too much, to engaging with prostitutes, to bringing foreign nationals into contact with sensitive security information, to exposing themselves to blackmail and other forms of potential compromise,” Reps. Issa and Cummings wrote.