Prostitutes, drunken behaviour and illegal wiretaps: US reveals accusations against Secret Service
Friday 15 June 2012
The US government has revealed details of serious allegations since 2004 against Secret Service agents and officers, including claims of involvement with prostitutes, leaking sensitive information, publishing pornography, sexual assault, illegal wiretaps, improper use of weapons and drunken behavior. It was not immediately clear how many of the accusations were confirmed to be true.
The heavily censored list — which runs 229 pages — was quietly released today under the US Freedom of Information Act to The Associated Press and other news organizations following the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia. It describes accusations filed against Secret Service employees with the Homeland Security Department's inspector general. The service protects the president and those close to him.
In many cases, the government noted that some of the claims were resolved administratively, and others were being formally investigated.
Basic details of the dozens of complaints were first revealed last month during a Senate hearing about the Colombia scandal, as senators questioned whether the Colombia incident was a sign of a broader culture problem at the storied agency tasked with protecting the president.
Secret Service Direct Mark Sullivan apologized for the incident during the May hearing, but insisted that it was an isolated case.
The list of complaints, however, suggested otherwise senators said at the time.
Secret Service officials did not immediately comment today.
Among the complaints was an allegation of attempted sexual assault reported in August 2011. The records show that the incident happened on out of town trip at a hotel. The employee "reluctantly reported it to an administrative person." The incident was closed with an "administrative disposition" in February.
In 2008, an on duty uniform division officer was arrested in a Washington prostitution sting. The officer, who was driving a marked Secret Service vehicle at the time, was placed on administrative leave, the records show. Sullivan said during the May hearing that the officer was later fired.
A dozen officers were implicated in the Colombia scandal and eight have been forced out of the agency. At least two employees are fighting to get their jobs back.
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