More Secret Service Resignations Expected

4:50 PM, Apr 19, 2012   |    comments
AP
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(CBS News) United States Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan has told members of Congress that he expects more resignations from agents involved in the Colombian prostitution scandal by the end of the week, according to a congressional staffer with knowledge of the investigation.

One day after Sullivan announced that three agents involved, including two supervisors, would be leaving the service, investigation of the remaining eight agents continues.

Polygraph tests have been conducted on the agents allegedly involved all week and will continue today and tomorrow. If they fail those tests, the agents would lose their security clearance which would bar them from the Secret Service completely. For the agents who do pass the tests, according to aides, Sullivan has said that the service is taking all the appropriate steps so they can make personnel decisions based on the law, but that ethics and standards are very important to the agency and the agents' actions reflect poorly on them all. According to Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., the agents are all also undergoing drug testing.

The raucous party involving 11 secret service agents, 10 defense personnel and over 20 women, including prostitutes, occurred just over one week ago. The women had to check in at the hotel where the agents were staying and provide identification. A congressional staffer briefed on the matter said the Secret Service has copies of the IDs which show the women were all of age. King said identification cards showed that the youngest woman was 20 years old.

According to the staffer, one agent involved in an altercation with a prostitute over payment did not realize there was payment involved or that the woman was a prostitute. Some of the agents, however, knew that the women were prostitutes, had sex with them and paid for the sex.

Members have asked whether similar incidents have occurred in the past. According to the staffer briefed on the matter, the Secret Service is being careful not to say it's never happened, but nothing similar has ever been reported to the Office of Professional Responsibility, which is responsible for investigating charges of misconduct by agents.

Director Sullivan was made aware of the scandal one week ago and immediately recalled the agents to Miami. They were placed on administrative leave Saturday and had their security clearances suspended on Monday.

No congressional hearings have yet been scheduled specifically addressing the scandal, but numerous congressional committees are investigating the matter.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the chair and ranking member respectively on House Oversight and Government Reform, wrote to Sullivan yesterday to ask for information on the investigation, including a timeline of events, a summary of any disciplinary action taken against any of the agents since 2002 and a description of all involved in this scandal. The letter tells Sullivan that "your task is to restore the world's confidence in the Secret Service."

 

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