- The Washington Times - Monday, May 4, 2015

U.S. Capitol Police said an independent body is investigating the source of a leak to the Roll Call newspaper that cited three separate instances this year when security detail allegedly left loaded guns unattended on the Capitol complex.

“Recent media reports regarding three cases of U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officers improperly handling their Department issued weapons in the Capitol Complex, should not have been released to the public, as these are law enforcement sensitive, internal personnel matters currently under investigation,” USCP spokesperson Lt. Kimberly A. Schneider said in a statement, Roll Call reported.

“At the request of Chief [Kim] Dine, the United States Capitol Police Office of Inspector General (IG) is investigating these matters. The IG is independent and reports directly to the United States Capitol Police Board,” the statement said.

Citing an anonymous source, Roll Call reported Friday that Capitol police on three occasions this year left behind loaded Glocks in the bathrooms at the Capitol complex. On March 24, a small child visiting the Capitol with his parents allegedly found a loaded firearm after a member of Speaker John Boehner’s security detail left it in the bathroom of the Speaker’s Suite, Roll Call reported.

In an earlier instance, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s security detail allegedly left his Glock and magazine stuffed in the toilet seat cover dispenser in a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom stall. It was found by a Center employee on Jan. 29, Roll Call reported.

And April 16, a third Glock was found lying in plain sight by a janitor cleaning a bathroom at the Capitol Police headquarters building on D Street NE, the report said.

“The Department takes very seriously all breaches of Department rules and has established policies that address such matters,” Lt. Schneider continued in her statement. “Each disciplinary matter is thoroughly investigated and reviewed, employees are held accountable for their conduct, and they are provided due process in adjudicating these matters.

“As a matter of policy, the Department does not routinely discuss internal personnel matters, in order to maintain the integrity of the Department,” the statement said.

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin, the chairman of the Capitol Police Board, said the board would be informed of the results of the investigation.

“The United States Capitol Police Office of Professional Responsibility and the Inspector General are reviewing each of these incidents and will be reporting all findings and recommendations to the Capitol Police Board,” Mr. Larkin said in a statement to Roll Call.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest commented on the investigation Friday.

“Obviously this is something that has drawn the intention of investigators on Capitol Hill and it seems like a reasonable response,” Mr. Earnest said.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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