Senate panel hears of wider Secret Service misbehavior

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“At the time the misconduct occurred, none of the individuals involved in the misconduct had received any specific protective information, sensitive security documents, firearms, radios or other security-related equipment in their hotel rooms,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan has survived professionally so far based on his openness about what happened. Senators were not expected to ask for his resignation, and the acting inspector general for the Homeland Security Department, Charles K. Edwards, gave Sullivan high marks for integrity.

Edwards, who estimated that the early stages of his own investigation would be finished before July 2, said the Secret Service “has been completely transparent and cooperative.”

“The Secret Service’s efforts to date in investigating its own employees should not be discounted,” Edwards told senators. “It has done credible job of uncovering the facts and, where appropriate, it has taken swift and decisive action.”

The White House on Tuesday reasserted its confidence in Sullivan. Obama “has great faith in the Secret Service, believes the director has done an excellent job,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “The director moved very quickly to have this matter investigated and took action very quickly as a result of that investigation.”

A dozen Secret Service officers and supervisors and 12 other U.S. military personnel were implicated. Eight Secret Service employees, including the two supervisors, have lost their jobs. The Secret Service is moving to permanently revoke the security clearance for one other employee, and three others have been cleared of serious wrongdoing.

Prostitution is legal in Colombia, but Sullivan quickly issued new guidelines that made it clear that agents on assignment overseas are subject to U.S. laws.

Sullivan said he directed Secret Service inspectors to investigate reports of similar misconduct in San Salvador. After 28 interviews with hotel employees and managers, State Department officials and others, “no evidence was found to substantiate the allegations,” Sullivan said.

This week the Drug Enforcement Administration said the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General was investigating possible misconduct by two or more agents in Colombia. Collins revealed that the case involved at least two DEA employees who entertained female masseuses in the Cartagena apartment of one of the DEA agents. The investigation is unrelated to the Secret Service scandal but is based on information provided to the DEA by the Secret Service.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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