- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 14, 2015

A powerful lawmaker is calling for the two Secret Service agents who were likely intoxicated and disrupted an active bomb investigation near the White House in March to be stripped of their security clearances and fired.

Those agents, Marc Connolly and George Ogilvie, spent more than three hours drinking at Fado Irish Pub after consuming alcohol at a friend’s retirement party, which had an open bar, according to a Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General report.

They then got into their car and struck a barrel near a bike-rack barrier near the White House, not long after Uniformed Division officers — charged with protecting the White House grounds — shut down the area to respond to a report of a suspicious package.

“If you’re going to go and do alcohol and then show up at the White House and disturb a crime scene, you’re out of here,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz in a Thursday hearing. “Go home. Go find another job. Because you know what? You wouldn’t be able to work at my McDonald’s. You wouldn’t even be able to run the french fry machine!”

He called for them to face maximum consequences and be fired.

“I want to know what the justification is for keeping their security clearances,” Mr. Chaffetz, Utah Republican, told The Washington Times. “I don’t trust them and I don’t think the president should either.”

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The two officers’ bar receipt was made public during Thursday’s hearing, and it shows that Mr. Ogilvie racked up a bill of $149.87 in the hours following the retirement party. A tab for the retirement party shows guests ordered 53 servings of beer, seven glasses of wine and three sodas.

Mr. Ogilvie was driving a government vehicle when it hit the barrel, according to the report. Video footage shows that the barrel “moved more than five feet” as it was pushed along the walkway.

The two men maintain that they were not impaired by alcohol at the time of the incident. But the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General disagrees.

Connolly and Ogilvie displayed poor judgment and a lack of situational awareness in driving into the scene,” states the department report on the incident, which was released Wednesday night. “Even if they had not been aware of the condition yellow through email notifications, it would have been obvious to a reasonable observer as they drove down 15th Street and into the E Street vehicle entrance that something was amiss. Yet, according to the weight of the evidence, neither Connolly nor Ogilvie were aware of the situation until the [Uniformed Division] officers spoke with them.”

The two men deliberately hid their actions from their superiors because “they were hoping this whole thing would just blow over,” said Rep. William Lacy Clay, Missouri Democrat.

According to multiple news outlets, Mr. Connolly, the deputy special agent in charge of the Presidential Protection Division, has told the agency he would retire. Mr. Ogilvie has been placed on administrative leave.

Although neither agent slurred his speech when he spoke or appeared intoxicated in front of the officers, they were not making any sense, prompting one of the officers to call the highest ranking member among the Uniformed Division officers on duty that night.

That member, known as a watch commander, was informed by the officer the two men “may be drunk,” the report states.

The watch commander allegedly told fellow officers that “both agents were under the influence of alcohol, describing to one officer their condition as being ‘hammered,’” according to the report.

But in a written statement to investigators, that watch commander described Mr. Ogilvie as not intoxicated and that his demeanor at the time “was polite and professional.” The officer did not, however, conduct a field sobriety test, the report states.

The watch commander’s decision were likely a self preservation tactic, according to one Uniformed Division officer. That officer told investigators the watch commander decided not to conduct a field sobriety test because it would be a “career killer,” the report states.

Firing the two agents over there actions is “a bit much,” said Ron Hosko, president of Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund and former assistant director of the FBI.

The two men exhibited poor judgment, but that doesn’t mean that they should lose their jobs, Mr. Hosko told The Times.

“It’s disappointing to see people, who I’m sure are good men, have this significant blemish — one who sounds like he’s going to conclude his career with this asterisk,” he said.

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