SECRET SERVICE SCANDALS

OBAMACSI.COM
Title:
Secret Service Problems Much Bigger Than Prostitutes
Date: May 2, 2012
Source: Washington Post

Abstract: So far, the biggest scandal in the history of the Secret Service involves agents hiring prostitutes in Colombia. But the media have largely ignored a much bigger scandal at the agency: a lax management culture that condones cutting corners, directly endangering the life of the president.

A prime example, revealed in my book on life inside the agency, is that when pressured, Secret Service managers tell agents to let people into events without requiring that they pass through magnetometers or metal detectors. When an event is about to start and people are still waiting to enter, annoyed campaign staffers and both Bush and Obama White House staffers have routinely told the Secret Service to stop screening people and let them in. Backed by senior Secret Service management, agents comply.

It gets worse. When Vice President Biden threw out the first pitch April 6, 2009, at the Baltimore Orioles’ season opener, the Secret Service had not screened with magnetometers any of the more than 40,000 fans at Camden Yards. Biden’s attendance was announced beforehand, yet the vice president was not wearing a bulletproof vest under his navy polo shirt as he stood on the pitcher’s mound.

“A gunman or gunmen, from anywhere in the stands, could have gotten off multiple rounds before we could have gotten in the line of fire,” a current agent, outraged that the Secret Service would be so reckless, told me.

The Secret Service suspends screening at one in five major presidential and vice presidential events, according to another current agent. Think about that: A terrorist could bring in a grenade and take out President Obama or Biden.

Other examples of corner-cutting include management not insisting that agents pass firearms requalification and physical fitness tests. The agency covers that up by routinely asking agents to fill out their own test scores.

One agent on the president’s detail regularly fails handgun tests but has not been removed, agents with firsthand knowledge have told me. Another agent on the detail is so out of shape that she cannot open the heavy doors to exit the president’s limousine, I’m told.

Instead of removing her from the president’s detail and requiring her to pass the fitness tests that all agents are supposed to take every three months, Secret Service management has told drivers to try to park so it would be easier for her to swing open the vehicle door.

Equally shocking, the Secret Service is not equipped with the most powerful firearms, such as the Colt M4 carbine used by the FBI and even Amtrak police.

The lax management culture filters down to agents at every level. When Dick Cheney’s daughter Mary was under protection, she insisted that her agents take her friends to restaurants. They rightly refused. But she threw a fit and got her detail leader removed over the incident. Asked for comment for my book, she told me: “These stories are simply not true, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the men and women of the Secret Service.”

Management’s decision to undercut its agent, which I confirmed with several sources, sends a message to Secret Service Uniformed Division officers at the White House gates: If they turn away fashionably dressed people such as Tareq and Michaele Salahi or Carlos Allen because they are not on the guest list for a state dinner, and it turns out they should have been on the list, the officers could be in trouble because their own managers may not back them.

Similarly, the lax management culture tells agents that it’s fine to hire prostitutes when traveling abroad, even though that puts them at risk of blackmail by a terrorist or foreign intelligence service.

Since I broke the Colombia story in The Post, many have asked me if it surprised me. It doesn’t. While Secret Service agents overall are dedicated and will take a bullet for the president, they have been let down by their management.

Despite the scandals and the dozens of examples of corner cutting, President Obama has repeatedly expressed confidence in the agency under Director Mark Sullivan. That is as reckless as President John F. Kennedy’s refusal to let agents ride on the rear running board of his limousine in Dallas. If agents had been there, they would have jumped on Kennedy after the first shot — which was not fatal — and saved his life.

When Obama took office, threats against the president were up 400 percent from when George W. Bush was in office. They have since returned to about 3,000 a year, roughly the number as when Bush was president.

The Secret Service has been derelict in its duty to the American people and its own brave agents. It should not take another tragedy to bring about reform (Washington Post, 2012).

Title: Alleged Prostitute In Secret Service Scandal Calls Agents 'Fools'
Date: May 4, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: A woman who says she was the prostitute who triggered the U.S. Secret Service scandal in Colombia on Friday called the agents involved "idiots" for letting it happen, and said that if she were a spy and sensitive information was available, she could have easily obtained it.

The woman said she spent five hours in a Cartagena, Colombia, hotel room with an agent, and while she barely got cab fare out of him, she could have gotten information that would have compromised the security of U.S. President Barack Obama if the agent had any. "Totally," she replied when asked.

"The man slept all night," said the woman, who was identified by her lawyer as Dania Londono Suarez. "If I had wanted to, I could have gone through all his documents, his wallet, his suitcase."

She called the Secret Service agents caught up in the scandal "fools for being from Obama's security and letting all this happen."

"When I said, `I'm going to call the police so they pay me my money,' and it didn't bother them, didn't they see the magnitude of the problem?" she said in an interview with Colombia's W Radio.

Londono said the man never identified himself as a member of Obama's advance security detail for the April 14-15 Summit of the Americas and said she saw nothing in his room that would have indicated the man's job other than a brown uniform.

She said in the 90-minute interview from an undisclosed location that no U.S. investigator had been in touch with her, although reporters descended on her home a week after the incident when a taxi driver led them to it.

"They could track me anywhere in the world that I go but they haven't done so," she said, speaking in Spanish. "If the Secret Service agents were idiots, imagine the investigators."

Londono used the word "bobo," Spanish for "fool" or "idiot," to describe the agents.

Eight Secret Service agents have lost their jobs in the scandal, although there is no evidence any of the 10 women interviewed by U.S. investigators for their roles in it have any connection to terrorist groups, Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said earlier this week.

King, R-N.Y., said Friday one of the agents accused of wrongdoing in the scandal failed a lie detector test, which contradicts earlier information from the Sercret Service to congressional investigators that three had decline to take the test.

King also is questioning why agents have not been able to find Londono, considering she apparently granted the interview. King's investigators met with Secret Service officials for three hours on Friday.

Londono said the man had agreed to pay her $800, but that she never would have made a public fuss about his failure to pay had she known he was part of Obama's security detail and realized the repercussions it would have for her.

"My life is practically destroyed," she said. "My name is in the gutter."

Her photo has been splashed all over the Internet since a newspaper took it off Facebook a week after the incident, when she said she fled Colombia fearing for her life.

"I was afraid they might retaliate," she said in apparent reference to the agents.

The mother of a 9-year-old boy she said she had when she was 17, Londono said she would happily sell her story now and pose nude.

She said she had contracted one of Colombia's top lawyers, Abelardo De la Espriella. He confirmed her identity for The Associated Press and said she called him for the first time earlier Friday, recommended by the radio host who interviewed Londono.

He said he didn't see that there was any criminal infraction in the incident. Prostitution is legal in Colombia.

"Let's see how we can help her," De la Espriella said of Londono.

Londono appeared in the interview, part of which was also broadcast by Colombia's Caracol TV, with just a little makeup, her fingernails painted white and wearing a tight green dress. She giggled nervously and refused to answer prying questions from reporters from several international news media on topics such as the nature of her sex act with the Secret Service agent.

Dania said it was nearly three hours after she alerted a Colombian policeman in the hall of Cartagena's Hotel Caribe before three colleagues of the agent, who had refused to open his door after giving her $30, scraped together $250 and paid her, she said.

Later that day, April 12, the agent and 11 other Secret Service colleagues who may have also had prostitutes in their rooms at the five-star hotel were sent home, under investigation for alleged misconduct.

Londono's story agrees with what investigators in Washington have disclosed.

She said she met the man, one of 10-11 agents in a Cartagena bar, and accompanied him back to the hotel, stopping on the way to buy condoms.

She said the other agents at the bar were all drunk.

"They bought alcohol like they were buying water," she said, though she never saw any evidence that any of them used illegal drugs.

She said the man she was with was only moderately intoxicated. She said she did not know his name.

Londono said that she went to Dubai after the scandal broke and spent time with someone she had previously met in Cartagena. She would not say whether that person had been a client.

She said she was charging between $600 and $800 for sex while working in Cartagena and only accepted foreigners as clients, considering herself an "escort."

Asked why she became a prostitute, Londono said "it's an easy life" that would allow her to study and provide for her son.

At one point in the interview, her mother was brought into the interview by phone, and described the shame she felt.

Londono said her mother did not know until the scandal broke that she was a prostitute and had been medicated for depression.

She said her son was unaware of his mother's celebrity, and said she considers herself finished with prostitution.

"This has cured me of it all," Londono said. "Even if I'm not hired for the magazine covers, I will never do it again" (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Secret Service Agent Strikes, Kills New York Pedestrian
Date: May 4, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: A Secret Service agent struck and killed a woman with their car in Brooklyn this afternoon, law enforcement sources said.

The victim, Maria Tripp, 47 -- who lived only four blocks from the scene -- was walking along Atlantic Avenue and Ralph Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant when she was hit around 4:50 p.m. She was pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital.

A law enforcement source said the agent had a green light.

“The Secret Service agent is one of our personnel from the New York field office,” said agency spokesman Edwin Donovan.

He added that he believed the agent was on duty, but the accident is under investigation.

“He was not assigned to a security detail,” Donovan said.

In addition to protecting the president and heads of state visiting the US, the Secret Service also investigates crimes, such as counterfeiting.

The NYPD is investigating (Fox News, 2012).

Title:
Secret Service Prostitute Says Secret Information Was Easily Accessible
Date: May 4, 2012
Source:
Guardian

Abstract: A woman who says she was the prostitute who triggered the US 
secret service scandal in Colombia said that the agents involved were "idiots" for letting it happen, and declared that if she were a spy and sensitive information was available, she could have easily obtained it.

The woman said she spent five hours in a Cartagena, Colombia, hotel room with an agent, and while she barely got cab fare out of him, she could have gotten information that would have compromised the security of US president Barack Obama if the agent had any. "Totally," she replied when asked.

"The man slept all night," said the woman, who was identified by her lawyer as Dania Londono Suarez. "If I had wanted to, I could have gone through all his documents, his wallet, his suitcase."

She said in the 90-minute interview with Colombia's W Radio that no US investigator had been in touch with her, although reporters descended on her home a week after the incident when a taxi driver led them to it.

"They could track me anywhere in the world that I go but they haven't done so," she said, speaking in Spanish. "If the secret service agents were idiots, imagine the investigators."

That alarmed a US congressman who is monitoring the case.

Representative Peter King, chairman of the House homeland security committee, issued a statement on Friday expressing concern that investigators "have been unable to locate and interview two of the female foreign nationals involved," including Londono. "I have asked the secret service for an explanation of how they have failed to find this woman when the news media seems to have no trouble doing so."

Eight secret service agents have lost their jobs in the scandal, although there is no evidence any of the 10 women interviewed by US investigators for their roles in it have any connection to terrorist groups, King said earlier this week.
In the interview, Londono called the secret service agents caught up in the scandal "fools for being from Obama's security and letting all this happen".

"When I said, 'I'm going to call the police so they pay me my money,' and it didn't bother them, didn't they see the magnitude of the problem?" she said.
Londono said the man never identified himself as a member of Obama's advance security detail for an inter-governmental summit, and said she saw nothing in his room that would have indicated the man's job other than a brown uniform.

Londono said the man had agreed to pay her $800, but that she never would have made a public fuss about his failure to pay had she known he was part of Obama's security detail and realised the repercussions it would have for her.
"My life is practically destroyed," she said. "My name is in the gutter."

Her photo has been splashed all over the internet since a newspaper took it off Facebook a week after the incident, when she said she fled Colombia fearing for her life.

"I was afraid they might retaliate," she said, saying she feared for herself and her family after looking up secret service on the internet and seeing that some agents were sharpshooters.

The mother of a 9-year-old boy she said she had when she was 17, Londono said she would happily sell her story now and pose nude.

She said she had contracted one of Colombia's top lawyers, Abelardo De la Espriella. He confirmed her identity for the AP and said she called him for the first time earlier Friday, recommended by the radio host who interviewed Londono.

He said he didn't see that there was any criminal infraction in the incident. Prostitution is legal in Colombia.

"Let's see how we can help her," De la Espriella said of Londono.
Londono appeared in the interview, part of which was also broadcast by Colombia's Caracol TV, with just a little makeup, her fingernails painted white and wearing a tight green dress.

While W Radio did not say where she was interviewed, she later gave an interview to the Spanish radio network Cadeba Ser, which said it was recorded in one of its studios.

Londono giggled nervously and refused to answer prying questions from reporters from several international news media during the W Radio interview on topics such as the nature of her sex act with the secret service agent.

She said that the desk clerk at the Hotel Caribe called at 6.30am to tell her it was time to leave, and the agent addressed her with an insult in telling her to get out.

Dania said it was nearly three hours after the man kicked her out of the room and she alerted a Colombian policeman stationed on the hallway before three colleagues of the agent, who had refused to open his door after giving her $30, scraped together $250 and paid her, she said.

"'The only thing they said was 'Please, please. No police, no police,'" she said.
Later that day, 12 April, the agent and 11 other secret service colleagues who may have also had prostitutes in their rooms at the five-star hotel were sent home, under investigation for alleged misconduct.

Londono's story agrees with what investigators in Washington have disclosed.
She said she met the man, one of ten or 11 agents in a Cartagena bar, and accompanied him back to the hotel, stopping on the way to buy condoms.
She said the other agents at the bar were all drunk.

"They bought alcohol like they were buying water," she said, though she never saw any evidence that any of them used illegal drugs.

She said the man she was with was only moderately intoxicated. She said she did not know his name.

Londono said that she went to Dubai after the scandal broke and spent time with someone she had previously met in Cartagena. She would not say whether that person had been a client.

She said she was charging between $600 and $800 for sex while working in Cartagena and only accepted foreigners as clients, considering herself an "escort".

Asked why she became a prostitute, Londono said "it's an easy life" that would allow her to study and provide for her son (Guardian, 2012).

Title: Former Secret Service Agent Charged In Kidnapping Plot
Date: May 31, 2012
Source:
ABC News

Abstract: A former U.S. Secret Service agent campaigning to be a sheriff in South Carolina is facing charges for allegedly plotting to kidnap a retired judge.

James Bartee, a 54-year-old running for sheriff in Oconee County, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with solicitation to commit a felony after authorities said he tried to pay someone to abduct former judge James Williams Jr., who is trying to get Bartee removed from the ballot for sheriff.

Bartee was released on $10,000 bond today but will lose his passport as he is considered a flight risk, according to local media reports. After his bond hearing, Bartee denied the accusations and told reporters that the "truth will come out."

According to audio recordings cited in the arrest warrant, Bartee allegedly plotted for several days with the unidentified potential kidnapper until his arrest.

State authorities said they launched the investigation in response to a request by Oconee County's current sheriff.

Bartee's campaign Facebook page shows that there was an ongoing dispute between the sheriff candidate and Williams, a retired Circuit Court judge who filed a civil suit claiming Bartee was ineligible to run for Sheriff because he is not a certified law enforcement officer in South Carolina. Bartee says his federal certifications as a former Secret Service agent fulfill the requirement.

"James Bartee wants all to know that he is legally on the ballot and deserves to be on the ballot," a post on the campaign Facebook page reads.

According to Bartee's campaign website, he was employed by the Secret Service for 25 years before retiring in 2000 as a Senior Special Agent. The Secret Service told ABC News James Bartee is a former employee, but declined to say how long he served or provide details of his record with the agency.

Most recently, a picture on the campaign website shows Bartee "providing protection and advice" to former Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann at a campaign event in South Carolina last August.

In April, the Secret Service was mired in a series of allegations of misconduct against its agents. Most notably, a scandal erupted around Secret Service agents' meetings with prostitutes during a trip to Cartagena, Colombia, ahead of President Obama's arrival there for an international summit.

Bartee did not immediately respond to requests for comment for this report (ABC News, 2012)

Title: Secret Service's 229-Page Log Reveals Agents' Porn, Wiretap, Embezzlement And Drunken Misdeeds
Date: June 16, 2012
Source:
NY Post

Abstract: It went way beyond hookers.

Secret Service agents and officers have been accused of leaking sensitive information, publishing porn, sexual assaults, illegal wiretaps, embezzlement and drunkenness on duty, according to a 229-page log released yesterday.

After a prostitution scandal in April, when agents consorted with hookers while preparing for President Obama’s arrival in Colombia, Service Director Mark Sullivan apologized. But he said it was an isolated case, not a “systemic issue.”

However, the log, which the Service Service released yesterday after news organizations requested it under the Freedom of Information Act, shows a pattern of misdeeds dating back to 2003.

In one 2005 incident, a drunken agent was yanked from his role as the “detail leader” for a team assigned to protect the visiting president of the Dominican Republic.

Another agent, with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit, was arrested in Los Angeles after driving into a ditch.

And in January 2011, police in New York arrested an investigative support assistant on charges of sexual abuse. The records do not list an outcome for the case.

Although the names were left out and the log was heavily censored, it provided ammunition for critics who say the Secret Service is out of control.

In an August 2011 incident, an employee was accused of pushing a woman who also worked for the agency onto a bed during a work trip. The employee “got on top of [censored] attempting to have sex,” even though the woman “told [censored] ‘no’ several times.”

The entry noted that supervisors described the accused as “a conscientious and dependable employee.” The incident was closed with an “administrative disposition” in February.

They also included an anonymous complaint in October 2003 that a Secret Service agent “may have been involved with a prostitution ring.” It noted that two telephone numbers belonging to the agent, who has since retired, turned up as part of an FBI investigation into a prostitution ring.

In addition, in 2005, an employee was reported to the Washington field office for being arrested on a charge of solicitation in a park.

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 (NY Post, 2012).

Title: EXCLUSIVE: Secret Service Agents Partied Like Rock Stars On Obamas' Vineyard Vacation
Date: June 19, 2012
Source: Fox News

Abstract: Long before President Obama's security detail was scandalized in Colombia and new revelations emerged last week about the Secret Service, members of the elite team earned an "Animal House" reputation at the blueblood vacation mecca of Martha's Vineyard.

Local residents say wild parties, fights and late-night carousing involving Secret Service members have become commonplace in recent years at the Vineyard, a favorite getaway for the First Family and longtime destination for upper-crust members of the Northeastern political, media and business establishment.

“I expect parties during the summer. People come here to have fun -- they’re on vacation,” said a resident who lives in the East Chop section of Oak Bluffs, near the six-bedroom Victorian mansion whose owners dubbed it the Secret Service’s “party house,” after agents staying in a cluster of adjacent homes converged on it for late-night soirees. “But I didn’t think it’d be Secret Service people here protecting the president.”

Trashed rental homes, bad behavior and barroom brawls that have required the local police to step in have some disgusted Martha’s Vineyard homeowners vowing never to rent out to the Secret Service again. And while none of the disturbing behavior appeared to have any direct effect on the president’s safety, some occurred even as the president and his family were nearby.

One resident called police in the early morning on Aug. 18, 2011, about a party that went on until well past 4 a.m. on the day President Obama arrived for a nine-day vacation. Cars were parked on a lawn strewn with beer bottles and young women went in and out of the house as shouts from a spirited foosball game pierced the wee-hours air, neighbors told FoxNews.com.

A police report obtained by FoxNews.com describes two local cops arriving at 2:23 a.m. to find as many as a dozen people on the porch “talking and laughing loudly.”

“I was informed by two males that it’s a rental house and they were working the presidential vacation,” the report states. “I informed them that it was still 2:30 a.m. and people in the area are complaining about the loud voices, and [they] were told to go inside and close the windows.”

In response to FoxNews.com’s request for comment, Secret Service spokesman Max Milien in Washington said the Secret Service “has not received any complaints or information regarding alleged misconduct of its personnel operating in Martha's Vineyard during the summer of 2011. Any information brought to our attention that can be assessed as credible will be followed up on in an appropriate manner.”

But at least one Vineyard homeowner says that isn’t true.

She said her husband called the Secret Service in Washington last year to complain about the rowdy behavior of agents and damage they caused to their home, but his gripe was dismissed by officials who told her “that’s what they do on vacation” – even though the agents were on assignment at the Vineyard.

“If Secret Service says they’ve never received complaints about these same guys, then there is clear evidence to the contrary -- if they say that, they’re lying,” the woman told FoxNews.com. "We were the only ones to care, apparently. Nobody else cared about them partying, trashing the house, bringing girls home.

“We would not rent to them again,” she said.

She described a wake of destruction left by the commander-in-chief’s bodyguards, including the Counter Assault and Counter Sniper Teams, the same elite groups that got into trouble in Colombia. Antique furniture was destroyed, expensive "locally harvested" wide pine flooring was ruined and beer and liquor bottles were scattered throughout the property after agents stayed in the house, one of several stately million-dollar Victorians with pastel-painted wood shingles and wraparound porches of the exclusive East Chop section of Oak Bluffs.

The homeowners and several neighbors described another incident where police responded to complaints about a truck parked half on the lawn, half on the driveway. Cops arrived, spoke to the Secret Service agents inside and, moments later, a half-dressed woman came running out, got in the truck and sped off, said neighbors.

The home police responded to on Aug. 18, 2011, was described by one neighbor as a virtual “party house” for local college girls home for the summer, while another neighbor said she saw young women coming and going during more than one raging Secret Service party.

The owner of a six-bedroom home rented out the last two summers to the same Secret Service team that got in trouble in South America showed FoxNews.com a bullet he said was left behind by the agents and said CAT agents let neighborhood children and other residents handle their weapons.

More alarmingly, he said the men told him details of presidential security plans and logistics.

“They left ammo behind, they told me things they shouldn’t have been telling me, things they shouldn’t be telling anyone about the details about how they protect the president. They let us hold their weapons, see all their stuff, they had huge house parties,” said the man, who spoke to FoxNews.com with his wife on the condition they not be named.

Real estate agents with knowledge of the East Chop homes rented out to Secret Service said a child found a spent shell casing on a front lawn of one of the homes.

Glen Caldwell, the general manager of Offshore Ale in Oak Bluffs, told FoxNews.com about an incident last summer when one of his staff found a Secret Service badge on the floor after the bar had closed at the end of the night. The commission book also included a list of emergency phone numbers -- two 1-800 Secret Service numbers, a Department of Homeland Security ID card.

“It was on the floor of the bar for who knows how long, covered in peanuts. It was pretty clear that the guy was drunk,” Caldwell said.

When another worker found the badge, Caldwell said he put it in the bar’s safe. He then got a frantic call an hour or two later from someone asking if they’d found a Secret Service ID. He said the owner soon showed up at the bar and, when he asked for proof that the ID was his, showed a Virginia driver’s license bearing the same name.

“You didn’t call any of those numbers did you?” the agent nervously asked, recalled Caldwell, who had not.

A woman who was close to one of the agents and spent time with a group of them last summer said she was concerned about the national security implications of them bringing home women -- many of whom were foreign nationals -- nearly every night. She said the agents she spent time with did not bring their weapons out at night to the bars and parties, but that detailed information about the protection plans for the president was on all of their cellphones -- as were the phone numbers, locations and contact phone numbers for everyone on the detail.

In another incident, a local bartender said she and her boyfriend were playing pool with White House staffers who were members of Obama’s detail at an Oak Bluffs restaurant when they ran out of quarters. She said the staffers shot pool using what they said was the cash they were carrying for Obama -- the president doesn’t carry his own cash; White House staffers traveling with the president pay for his meals or other purchases.

Yet despite the myriad incidents, neither local law enforcement nor Secret Service officials in Washington would acknowledge a problem with the agents’ behavior on Martha’s Vineyard.

“This isn’t news,” Oak Bluffs Police Lt. Timothy Williams insisted to FoxNews.com, when asked about the East Chop address party. “There’s no news here,” he said, while also refusing to make available the officers who responded to the early morning party.

A chef at one popular restaurant, who cooked for a Secret Service party last summer, said the hi-jinks weren’t confined to the male agents. Three female Secret Service agents at the affair “partied just as much, if not more, than the other guys,” he said, and even organized tequila-fueled “ladies nights” out on the town.

The women also detailed protection strategies the security team provided for the president.

“The women talked about all the layers of protection -- what they do, how they protect the president -- the secret things that nobody is supposed to ever know about,” the chef said.

Several locals said they were disturbed the agents seemed to treat the president’s vacation as their own, even though the agents were on duty. Among the complaints are that some agents used their status to skip out on bar tabs, or using restricted parking areas while out boozing it up at local bars.

“They think they own the place, that they’re above the law,” said a bartender at the Wharf, a bar in Edgartown across the road from where White House advance team and Signal Corp communications teams set up shop in the month before the president’s arrival on the Vineyard. “[They’ll say], ‘I kill people for a living,’ ‘the President of the United States is alive because of me,’” the bartender said.

Elsewhere, Vineyard residents reported Secret Service agents crashing parties all over the island. Last summer, the annual Harley-Davidson “Run to the Rock” event coincided with Obama’s visit, and many people reported seeing numerous Secret Service agents joining the party and drinking at the annual gathering.

Not everyone has problems with the Secret Service rentals. Walter Vail, an elected official in Oak Bluffs, said Secret Service teams that rented his home treated it with respect. He said the men used a large tree in his yard to do pull ups, ran windsprints down the main street and played wiffleball on the enormous lawn of a home next to his that was also rented.

And others on the island say Secret Service agents should be allowed to party, as long as they keep the First Family safe.

“Boys will be boys,” said Peter Martell, owner of the Wesley Hotel in Oak Bluffs, which has hosted Secret Service since Bill Clinton first vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard in 1993.

Hotel workers say that for as long as they’ve been staying there, there’s been a cooler of beer waiting for each agent when he returns from his shift.

“They work their butts off, these guys, and they do a hell of a job. If they want to have a little fun here, what’s the harm?” Martell said (Fox News, 2012)

Title: White House Staffers 'DID Bring Colombian Hookers Back To Hotel Where President Later Stayed'
Date: September 20, 2012
Source:
Daily Mail

Abstract: A new report is likely to reveal that White House staffers were involved in the Colombian prostitution scandal, with two members of the president's advance team bringing hookers back to the hotel where he later stayed. 

The revelation, if proven true, contradicts the White House's original assertion that none of its staffers had patronized prostitutes in advance of Barack Obama's vision to Cartagena for the Summit of the Americas in April.

The scandal ensnared 13 Secret Service agents, seven Army soldiers, two US Marines and two DEA agents -- all of whom were sent to the resort city to prepare security and communications the week before the president was sent to arrive.

Until now, the White House has avoided embarrassment in the scandal and claimed none of its own advance team had participated in the hard-partying or cavorting with sex workers that sullied the name of the Secret Service. 

However, Fox News reports that an internal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General is likely to conclude two White House staffers picked up hookers and brought them back to the Cartagena Hilton where the president later stayed.

The military personnel and all but one of the Secret Service agents implicated in the scandal had been staying at the Hotel Caribe -- a separate hotel. 

A Secret Service official told Fox News: 'Three US delegation members that stayed at the Hilton brought prostitutes back as overnight guests. One of them was ours and the other two were White House staffers. We knew very early that White House staffers were involved.'

Some in the Secret Service are beginning to worry that the report, which could be released as early as this week, has been whitewashed to remove or downplay the involvement of anyone working in the president's offices. 

Two senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, sent a letter to the inspector general demanding to know the status of the report.

They also want to know whether earlier drafts of the report were changed after they were reviewed by the Secret Service or the Department of Homeland Security. 

A dozen Secret Service officers, agents and supervisors were implicated in the Colombia scandal. Eight have been forced out of the agency, three were cleared of serious misconduct and at least two employees are fighting to get their jobs back.

The misconduct became public after a dispute over payment between a Secret Service agent and a prostitute at a Cartagena hotel on April 12. 

All the alleged activities took place before Obama arrived in Cartagena for meetings with 33 other regional leaders, but the scandal overshadowed his visit.

Eventually, the prostitute at the centre of the scandal was revealed to be a 24-year-old woman called Dania Suarez.

Speaking on Spanish television in May she said the men were 'stupid brutes' and drinking vodka 'like it was water' in a local bar.

One of the men, identified as Arthur Huntington, would not pay the $800 he initially agreed to pay Miss Suarez (Daily Mail, 2012).

Title:
Probe Of Secret Service Prostitution Scandal May Cite White House Advance Staff Involvement
Date: September 20, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: Federal law enforcement personnel and a congressional committee are anxiously awaiting an overdue inspector general's report that they believe may reveal the involvement of two White House advance team members in the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia earlier this year.

While much of the attention in the case has focused on the actions of Secret Service personnel, multiple law enforcement and congressional sources tell FoxNews.com that investigators also discovered two White House advance team members checked in prostitutes as overnight guests at a Cartagena hotel in the days before President Obama's April 13 visit.

"Three U.S. delegation members that stayed at the Hilton brought prostitutes back as overnight guests. One of them was ours (Secret Service) and the other two were White House staffers," a high-ranking Secret Service official told FoxNews.com. "We knew very early that White House staffers were involved."

Twelve of the 13 agents investigated for alleged misconduct in Cartagena stayed at another hotel, the El Caribe. Only one of those charged with misconduct had a room at the Hilton, where President Obama and the White House advance team also stayed.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in April, just days after Obama's visit, that there was no indication any White House advance team members were involved in the prostitution scandal.

But whether there will be any reference to the White House staffers in the upcoming report, from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, remains to be seen. The report has yet to be delivered, though DHS OIG officials said Tuesday it would be submitted in the coming days. Acting DHS Inspector General Charles K. Edwards initially told a congressional panel in May he was aiming to present it by July 2.

The delay has sparked speculation the report was being altered or manipulated to conceal or minimize the roles of some of those involved, multiple Secret Service officials with senior leadership positions told FoxNews.com. Meanwhile, Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, of the Senate Homeland Security Committee sent Edwards a letter on Sept. 14 asking for information about the status of the report.

A congressional source told FoxNews.com the Senate committee staff is particularly eager to see the report because it "includes information that two members of the White House advance team had prostitutes overnight."

"The Committee wants to know if White House staff engaged in improper conduct in Cartagena, which the White House previously denied," the source added.

"We are writing to inquire about the status of the investigation we requested into the April 2012 incidents in Cartagena, Colombia, involving the U.S. Secret Service and possibly other federal personnel and certain foreign nationals," the letter said. It was not clear what level of White House advance team personnel were involved or if they had access to classified material about the president's visit.

The letter contained questions including the date the draft report was completed; if the report had been submitted to Secret Service and DHS for comment; and whether those comments will be identified separately in the final report. It also asks: "Have any changes been made to the report in response to comments received from the Secret Service or the Department?"

"Obviously we're worried the draft version of the report -- what the DHS IG investigators found on the ground in Cartagena -- is going to get changed and edited before the final version gets out," said a Secret Service source with knowledge of the IG's initial findings.

"Collins and Lieberman and the committee sent this letter in part to make sure that nobody will water down the final report. The committee sending the letter will prevent them from tampering with the report, that's one of the reasons why they sent it."

In response to multiple requests for comment, a spokesman with the DHS OIG on Tuesday afternoon denied the report was being deliberately delayed.

"We have completed our independent review, which was requested by Congress, and are currently in the final stages of preparing the final report of investigation," spokesman Bill Hillburg said. He said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano would be briefed in the "next few days," and Collins and other lawmakers after that.

Press Secretary Carney's statement, on April 23, came well before the DHS investigation was complete, but ruled out any wrongdoing by White House advance staff.

"There have been no specific, credible allegations of misconduct by anyone on the White House advance team or the White House staff," Carney said at a press briefing. "Nevertheless, out of due diligence, the White House Counsel's office has conducted a review of the White House advance team, and in concluding that review, came to the conclusion that there's no indication that any member of the White House advance team engaged in any improper conduct or behavior."

The White House did not return FoxNews.com's request for comment on Tuesday afternoon.

DHS spokesman Matt Chandler said on Tuesday that Napolitano's office had not yet received the report. He added: "Furthermore, the OIG is independent and solely and separately determines the timing of its reports. I would refer you to the OIG for further questions."

Edwards said during congressional testimony on May 23 that he hoped to have the initial report on the Cartagena incident completed by July 2. "We plan to interview Special Agent in Charge Paula Reid, who had on-site responsibility for the Secret Service's Cartagena detail," Edwards said. "We also plan to interview (Secret Service) Director (Mark) Sullivan. We will review the Secret Service's report on its internal investigation as soon as it becomes available. Contingent upon our receipt of that report, our goal is to complete the first phase of our review and report our findings by July 2nd."

Multiple high-level officials, including current and former Secret Service agents, have told FoxNews.com that they believe Sullivan has essentially covered up White House involvement in the scandal, while publicly skewering agency employees who were involved.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said his agency "has been completely cooperative with inquiries from DHS OIG on all matters related to the investigation of events that transpired in Cartagena."

Thirteen Secret Service agents, including one female agent, were investigated for their alleged involvement with prostitutes at Cartagena hotels on the night of April 11 and early morning of April 12, in advance of Obama's arrival on April 13 for a Summit of the Americas meeting.  

A dozen members of the military were also investigated for alleged misconduct during the same visit, as were two DEA agents who were alleged to have had conduct with prostitutes at an apartment maintained by the agency in Cartagena.

All but a few of the 13 Secret Service agents have retired, resigned, or are on administrative leave and have had their clearances suspended pending revocation hearings or appeals. Last week, two of the agents were notified by their attorneys that their security clearances had been officially revoked.

One of two supervisors had his clearance revoked and is appealing the revocation; the other supervisor retired.

A number of other agents initially sent home from Colombia and investigated were brought back on the job after saying during polygraph examinations that they did not know the women in their rooms were prostitutes. Those back on the job have been reassigned to other divisions of the Secret Service (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Secret Service Turns Off The Tap On Agents’ Boozing
Date: October 2, 2012
Source: Fox News

Abstract: Looks like the party's over. 

The Secret Service, after running into trouble for agents' bawdy behavior, is going on booze control -- putting out guidance telling agents that drinking on assignment is prohibited within 10 hours of reporting for duty and is effectively outlawed on-site once an official visit begins.

The new directive comes in the wake of the Colombia prostitution scandal that rocked the Secret Service earlier this year. Those rules have now been officially added to the agency's Human Resources and Training Manual, after the following email -- which was obtained by FoxNews.com -- went out:

"Alcohol may only be consumed in moderate amounts while off-duty on a TDY assignment and alcohol use is prohibited within 10 hours of reporting for duty.  Alcohol may not be consumed at the protectee hotel once the protective visit has begun.  See Human Resources and Training Manual, section PER-05(05), Miscellaneous Standards."

The email directive came from the Deputy Assistant Director of Human Resources and Training. It reflects new policy implemented after the Colombia scandal. FoxNews.com and other outlets have reported extensively on agents' behavior on assignment both inside and outside the United States.

What does "moderate amounts" of alcohol mean exactly? Nobody seems to know.

Ed Donovan, Secret Service spokesman, dodged the question when asked by FoxNews.com. Regarding the email, he said only:

"This is not 'new.' It's just the administrative implementation of the policy change from several months ago. That policy change was reported on extensively at the time."

He did not reply to a follow-up email asking again for clarity about the definition of "moderate."

Thirteen agents were sent home during the April international imbroglio that has tarnished the agency's reputation. An inspector general's investigation found six of the agents had brought prostitutes back to their Cartagena hotel room. Two other DHS OIG reports are nearing completion.

The new rules were described to FoxNews.com by one high-ranking agency official as "silly, hysterical and entirely unenforceable."

"As I said, there's B.C. and A.C.," another agent said, with a sigh. "Before Colombia and After Colombia" (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Secret Service Agent Arrested After Being Found Passed Out In Miami
Date:
October 12, 2012
Source:
CBS Miami

Abstract:
U.S. Secret Service agent Aaron Francis Engler was found early Friday morning passed out on the sidewalk near the intersection of Brickell Avenue and 7th just hours after President Barack Obama had left South Florida.

According to the arrest report, Miami police officers were in the area around 7 a.m. on an unrelated call when they noticed Engler passed out. According to the arrest report, when the officers checked on the man, he had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol. Police said Engler started throwing his arms around while he and started to fight with officers, the report said.

The officers then took Engler to the ground and handcuffed him. As an officer searched Engler’s pockets, he discovered Engler’s Secret Service identification.

The officer didn’t make the find without a fight. During the search, sources said Engler threw his arms around and hit the officer in the chin.

Law enforcement sources told CBS4 Engler told police he was an agent out of Washington and was part of the advance team for the president’s visit on Thursday.

Specifically, the agent was assigned to the agency’s uniformed division and was in a support role, the Associated Press reported.

Once the President left Miami, Engler said he went drinking and got very drunk, law enforcement sources said.

Engler wasn’t armed at the time he was arrested, but was upset because he was supposed to leave Miami on another assignment Friday morning, law enforcement sources said.

Engler was charged with two misdemeanors, disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence, and released on his own recognizance. He was turned over to the Secret Service Friday and was being taken back to Washington, DC.

It’s the latest black eye for the agency charged with protecting the life of the president. In April 2012, the agency was involved in a prostitution scandal in Colombia during the Summit of the Americas (CBS Miami, 2012).

Title: Secret Service Director Suspected Of Lying To Congress About Prostitution Scandal
Date:
October 17, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract:
An investigation for the agency that oversees the U.S. Secret Service suggests Director Mark Sullivan lied during his congressional testimony in the Colombia prostitution scandal that ensnared 13 of his agents, multiple law enforcement officials and congressional sources tell FoxNews.com. 

Investigators with the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) have completed their investigative report, which will be referred to the Department of Justice along with a memorandum of activity that lists potential criminal actions. The report indicates Sullivan may have obstructed Congress by lying about the criminal associations of prostitutes involved in the scandal. The report also alleges Sullivan may have manipulated a report requested by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the sources said. 

DHS OIG uncovered the evidence -- including specific incidents of alleged perjury, making false statements and impeding Congress -- during its ongoing probe into the scandal surrounding agents' misconduct prior to President Obama's trip to Cartagena, Colombia, last April, sources told FoxNews.com. Sources said Sullivan may have violated statute 18 USC § 1505 -- obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies and committees -- and investigators are now handing the case over to federal prosecutors in the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section. 

DHS OIG has been in talks with Justice Department prosecutors in the Public Integrity Section for months, and met with them late last week about the potential charges against Sullivan, sources said.

The OIG, however, declined to discuss details of its investigation.

"The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General is conducting an ongoing investigation, requested by Congress, of the United States Secret Service regarding its actions during a presidential visit to Cartagena, Colombia, earlier this year," Charles Edwards, acting inspector general, said in a written statement. "The department and the Secret Service have cooperated with the OIG’s investigation thus far. However, as a matter of policy, the OIG does not discuss its ongoing investigations."

Sullivan has retained private counsel in the case. Joshua Hochberg, a former DOJ Public Integrity Section deputy chief-turned-white-collar defense attorney, specializes in defending public officials and CEOs charged with corruption. Hochberg was with Sullivan at his Aug. 2 interview with DHS OIG investigators, sources said. Hochberg also led the DOJ investigation of the failed energy company Enron and was head of DOJ's Fraud unit before joining a private firm. 

Reached for comment, Hochberg denied the allegations. 

"I've confirmed the public integrity section at DOJ does not have an open investigation. Mr. Sullivan did not in any way obstruct Congress," Hochberg told FoxNews.com. 

Sources said DOJ may not yet have an official open case on Sullivan because DHS OIG has not completed handing over a final report.  The Justice Department will decide if the case will be prosecuted only after evaluating the DHS OIG report. 

Multiple sources tell FoxNews.com that DHS OIG officials have been in talks with Justice Department officials for months about the possible charges against Sullivan. DHS OIG also notified the FBI, as is protocol, when it uncovered evidence early on in the investigation that Sullivan may have violated federal law. 

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan, in response to inquiries from FoxNews.com, defended the agency's handling of the Colombia probe. 

"Director Mark Sullivan and the Secret Service have conducted a fair and thorough investigation resulting from the Cartagena incident. The agency response to those with oversight responsibility has been timely and truthful. We will continue to respond to the DHS-OIG and congressional inquiries in that manner," Donovan said in a statement. "We will not respond specifically to anonymous allegations that have lingered since the beginning of this investigation that are either without merit, grossly inaccurate or blatantly false." 

During the May 23 hearing before the Senate committee, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, asked Sullivan: "Have you now been able to definitively conclude that the women were not associated with -- that they were not foreign agents? That they did not work for drug cartels? That they were not involved in human trafficking? That they were not working for FARC, for example, or other terrorist groups?" 

Sullivan replied: "One of the first things we did, Senator, was to get the names of all the women. We had their country identification number. We provided those names and identifiers to some of our various partners out there who could verify for us if there was any connection with any type of criminal activity or criminal organization as well as any type of intelligence concerns that we may have. 

"All of the information that we have received back has concluded that there was no connection either from a counterintelligence perspective or a criminal perspective." 

Multiple high-ranking law enforcement officials close to the investigation told FoxNews.com that at the time of his testimony, Sullivan knew the intelligence community had found one confirmed hit -- meaning one of the prostitutes hired by a member of the Secret Service showed up in a CIA database of known criminals -- and one partial, unconfirmed, hit. 

A search of the names of the prostitutes in a CIA database came back with a hit, which was confirmed before the May 23 hearing. 

"He lied, absolutely he lied to Congress. He knew it, he knew what he was saying was a lie," said a law enforcement official close to the investigation. 

"One hit was the CIA hit, the prostitute in question was tied to a drug cartel for laundering money," a law enforcement official close to the investigation told FoxNews.com. 

"Sullivan had direct evidence of the hit," the source said. 

"The night before his May 23 testimony before the Homeland Committee, he knew but he lied and said there was no hit and nothing was compromised." 

At the time of his testimony, sources say Sullivan also knew of a partial hit, meaning a name in an intelligence database matched the name of one of the women who were checked into a Cartagena hotel by a member of the Secret Service. Investigators later determined after the May 23 hearing that the prostitute signed in by the Secret Service agent was not the same woman found to have ties to a criminal group, but simply shared the same name. But sources said at the time Sullivan testified before Congress he knew there was a potential second hit on a second prostitute that was still in the process of being confirmed, and therefore lied about this second possible association. It was only after the hearing that they learned the partial hit was ruled out. 

Sources said Sullivan could not have known when he testified if this partial hit could be confirmed or ruled out. 

These investigative findings are part of DHS OIG's ongoing and wide-ranging probe into the overall culture of Secret Service to DOJ prosecutors. The full report is not expected to be released for months. 

In addition to his alleged perjury, Sullivan is suspected of misleading Congress in his responses to written questions for the record submitted by lawmakers, including Rep. Peter King of the House Homeland Security Committee. 

Other potential charges stem from allegations that Sullivan conspired with his top deputies to manipulate, falsify or edit records to downplay past problems in a report compiled for the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which requested a report on the agency's last three years of disciplinary actions taken against its employees. 

The report was referenced several times during the May 23 hearing. 

Multiple high-ranking officials within the Secret Service said Sullivan and other top Secret Service officials also conspired to manipulate other internal investigations, including a probe into whether members of the Secret Service had hired prostitutes before a March 2011 presidential trip to El Salvador. The investigation was ordered after a news report from South America alleged that Secret Service agents had hired prostitutes and visited strip clubs in advance of President Obama's visit. 

But a recently retired senior executive with Secret Service shot down these allegations, and defended Sullivan, his longtime friend and colleague. He also said Sullivan would never lie, let alone commit perjury before Congress. 

"I don't know anyone who is more honest, more trustworthy, with more of a conscience than Mark," said the recently retired senior executive. "Mark Sullivan is an altar boy." 

The retired official also said the internal El Salvador investigation uncovered absolutely no wrongdoing on the part of the Secret Service. 

"No one in the history of the Secret Service has ever gotten a prostitute before Colombia," he insisted. 

Sullivan was appointed director of the Secret Service in May 2006. The Arlington, Mass., native began his career with the agency in 1983 as a special agent in the Detroit Field Office. During his 28 years with the agency, he has served as deputy assistant director in the Office of Protective Operations; deputy special agent in charge of the Vice Presidential Protective Division and deputy assistant director, Office of Human Resources and Training. 

The Cartagena prostitution scandal isn't Sullivan's first. In December 2009, he was called to testify before Congress about security failings that allowed uninvited guests Tareq and Michaele Salahi to crash an official state dinner at the White House. Sullivan took responsibility for the breach, saying: "This is our fault and our fault alone" (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Colombian Prostitute Dania Londoño To Publish Book On Secret Service Sex Scandal
Date:
October 17, 2012
Source:
ABC News

Abstract:
A Colombian prostitute that gave the U.S. Secret Service a headache this spring, is once again making headlines around the world.

Escort Dania Londoño has announced plans to publish a book, called Room Service, in which she talks about the sex scandal that shook the U.S. Secret Service prior to President Obama's visit to Cartagena, Colombia in April of this year.

In Room Service, Londoño reveals the details of a sex party staged by at least 10 agents of the U.S. Secret Service and 8 members of the U.S. military who picked up girls in Cartagena brothels, and took them to their hotel, just two days before President Obama arrived in town for the Summit of the Americas.

Londoño claims that one of the agents offered her $800 for her sexual services that night. But when this agent -- whose name Londoño can't remember -- refused to pay up, the escort girl formed a ruckus at Cartagena's Hotel Caribe, which led local police to look into all the misbehavior that was going on that night.

Several members of the Secret Service resigned following the incident, which sparked a congressional investigation.

While this was happening, Londoño fled to Spain, as she feared for her security if she stayed in Cartagena. But back in Colombia, two fellow prostitutes said that she was part of a scheme to embarrass the Secret Service, set up by a businessman from Dubai.

Londoño strikes back at these allegations in her new book, saying that she had no way of knowing that the men who approached her in Cartagena belonged to the secret service.

She also describes an interview she held with two members of the U.S. Secret Service who were investigating the incident at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid.

"The agents asked me about everything that happened that night, and I answered every question they had," Londoño writes in a segment of the book that has already been published by Colombian newspaper El Heraldo. "They didn't say anything, or express anything about the attitude of the man who didn't want to pay me… I watched them while I spoke, and couldn't stop wondering how they could be so cold-hearted."

Londoño appears to be making the most out of her 15 minutes of fame. Since the Secret Service sex scandal broke out, the voluptuous call girl has appeared on the covers of two men's magazines in Colombia and Spain. She has also received a $500,000 offer to shoot a porn film in the U.S., according to news website Colombia Reports (ABC News, 2012).

Title: Inspector General’s Report Contradicts Secret Service On Prostitution Scandal
Date:
October 18, 2012
Source:
ABC News

Abstract:
An investigation into the U.S. Secret Service prostitution scandal by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General contradicts Secret Service director Mark Sullivan’s adamant assertion before Congress that “this just is not part of our culture,” ABC News has learned.

“Thus far, we have not found that this type of behavior was exhibited by any of these individuals before,” Sullivan testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in May, referring to the 12 agents who were accused of drinking and cavorting with prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, ahead of President Obama’s visit for the Summit of the Americas.

The report, however, revealed that one of the agents who was in Cartagena during the scandal and picked up a prostitute “admitted to soliciting a prostitute on two previous occasions, once in El Salvador in 2008/2009 and one time in Panama in 2009.”

The report also mentioned allegations of similar misconduct by agents on trips to Romania and China. Details from the report, labeled “law enforcement sensitive,” were shared with ABC News by sources who had reviewed it.

The investigation found that while Secret Service personnel were still on the ground in Cartagena, one of the supervisors that had engaged in misconduct was alerted that his actions had become known. He, in turn, warned other Secret Service staffers in Colombia that they should not bring prostitutes back to their hotel rooms.

A senior Secret Service official with knowledge of the investigation said Sullivan had been briefed prior to his testimony, and that “while some agents had been truthful regarding their conduct with prostitutes in Cartagena, none had confessed to prior contact with prostitutes. One agent, who later admitted to the OIG that he had indeed engaged in prior misconduct with prostitutes in El Salvador and Panama, had previously denied in an interview with USSS Office of Professional Responsibility that he had not had prior contact with prostitutes.”

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, the ranking Republican on a key Senate oversight subcommittee, was thoroughly briefed on the report by the subcommittee staff, which spent two days reviewing it.  Johnson noted that it is government policy for Secret Service agents to report certain contacts with foreign nationals.

“In the three and a half years prior to the Cartagena incidents, there were only 105 of those foreign national contacts reported,” Johnson said. “Once Cartagena occurred and the policy was redistributed, you know that agents were reminded of that, 423 additional contacts were all of a sudden reported. And again, this gives me concern that rotationally this type of behavior is more widespread.”

Sullivan is also facing questions about whether he misled lawmakers about the security risks surrounding the scandal.

In May, he testified that the prostitutes’ names – when run through U.S. national security and law enforcement databases – did not raise any red flags, with law enforcement concluding that there was “no connection either from … an intelligence perspective or a criminal perspective.”

But the inspector general asserted that Secret Service officials knew when Sullivan testified that information about two of the prostitutes had caused what’s commonly referred to as “intel hits.” One of those hits has since been dismissed and the other is still being investigated, sources told ABC News.

The senior Secret Service official asserted that before his testimony, “Sullivan was briefed as to the current status of the investigation and the facts known at that time. He was briefed that checks of the women’s names against national security and law enforcement databases, both in the U.S. and Colombia, had yielded no derogatory information.”

The official acknowledged that the Secret Service was told that there had been “potentially… a partial match to the name of one of the women, but at the time, Director Sullivan was briefed that it was not a match. Indeed, the Secret Service, working with other government agencies, was never able to confirm a connection.”

The DHS inspector general has faced challenges in his investigation, with 10 senior and current Secret Service officials refusing to grant him or his investigators an interview.

“We are concerned that the inspector general was interfered [with] in terms of his investigation, that was constrained and hampered,” Johnson told ABC News.

The inspector general also said the Justice Department denied its request to pursue the legal authority to conduct interviews with the prostitutes, hotel staff, or night club employees in Colombia and to access hotel records. Justice Department officials asserted they provided the inspector general with the documents that they were seeking.

“These are very serious charges — the fact that the Secret Service has been implicated in this kind of behavior that puts the president’s life at risk, our national security at risk and we cannot get the answers,” Johnson said.

Ten days after the scandal broke, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “There have been no specific, credible allegations of misconduct by anyone on the White House advance team or the White House staff.”

The inspector general’s report also noted that the White House counsel conducted her own investigation when two staffers – one a soldier who was part of the White House Communications Agency, the other a White House Advance Team volunteer – were also cited in follow-up investigations, after Carney’s comments.

The soldier ultimately confessed, but the advance team volunteer denied any wrongdoing.  The White House argues that the only information tying the volunteer to the scandal was a hotel log in which a prostitute listed the volunteer’s room number as her destination.  White House officials noted that a Secret Service agent was similarly implicated – falsely – in the scandal, and that they are convinced of the volunteer’s innocence. They have no further information about whom the prostitute was visiting.

Last week, Johnson wrote letters to Director Sullivan, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder asking for a detailed description of the findings from their investigations into the scandal.

“Director Mark Sullivan and the Secret Service have conducted a fair and thorough investigation resulting from the Cartagena incident,” Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told ABC News in a written statement. “The agency response to those with oversight responsibility has been timely and truthful with over a dozen briefings to Congress, hundreds of employee interviews, and tens of thousands of documents turned over to oversight entities. We have remained in close touch with those partners to answer any questions and will continue to respond to the DHS-OIG and Congressional inquiries in that manner. Since 1865, the Secret Service has done its job with excellence and integrity, and the true culture of our employees is demonstrated everyday as we execute both our investigative and protective missions.”

“The fact that we’ve hit a brick wall just makes me highly suspicious that there is something being covered up here and the American public has a right to know,” Johnson said.

A senior White House official said this evening that the White House continues to have confidence in Sullivan (ABC News, 2012).

Title: Senator Flags 'Discrepancies' In Administration's Handling Of Secret Service Prostitution Scandal
Date:
October 19, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract:
A U.S. senator whose staff has reviewed a major internal report on the Secret Service prostitution scandal flagged a series of "potential discrepancies" between what allegedly happened and what Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan and other administration officials claimed -- on the heels of a series of FoxNews.com reports detailing those discrepancies. 

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, released a lengthy memo Friday airing his concerns about the administration's handling of the scandal and chiding the administration for refusing his requests for more information. 

In doing so, the senator brought into the public eye concerns that until now have been expressed only privately among officials, and reported by FoxNews.com. 

"Unfortunately, there are discrepancies between the statements made and the information in the (report)," Johnson wrote. 

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, also put out a brief statement Friday expressing concern about the findings in the investigative report by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general. "It looks like the Inspector General's report confirms our fear that there is a broader history of inappropriate action by personnel within the Secret Service. Even worse, the IG report casts doubt and suspicion on the statements that national security wasn't at risk," he said. 

Johnson's memo said, as reported Tuesday by FoxNews.com, that the inspector general's report reveals senior Secret Service members "were aware" that one of the women in Colombia raised flags in the intelligence community even though Sullivan testified before Congress that none of the women had a connection to anything criminal. 

Multiple high-ranking law enforcement officials close to the investigation had told FoxNews.com that at the time of his testimony, the intelligence community had found one confirmed hit -- meaning one of the prostitutes hired by a member of the Secret Service showed up in a CIA database of known criminals -- and one partial, unconfirmed, hit. 

Johnson's memo said that upon further review, "it was determined that one of these women was not the same woman" in the database. The other woman, however, "is still of concern" to the intelligence community, he wrote. The memo went to members of the Senate committee. 

Further, Johnson said the report uncovered hotel records suggesting, as FoxNews.com had reported, that "female foreign nationals" were signed in as guests to a White House Communications Agency worker -- who was an officer in the Defense Department -- and a "reported member of the White House staff and/or advance team." 

Johnson noted that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had previously said there's "no indication" of any White House advance team involvement. The administration has claimed the White House advance team member was erroneously named in the hotel record, but Johnson noted that the DHS OIG was unable to investigate the possible White House involvement. 

Johnson's memo went on to reveal that the DHS OIG investigation found "solicitation of prostitutes may be more prevalent than Congress was led to believe, and that there may be a culture of acceptance inside of" the Secret Service. 

He said the investigation found one agent "self-reported to having solicited prostitutes both in El Salvador and Panama" in 2008-2009. 

"The investigation further uncovered allegations of similar misconduct in China and Romania," he wrote, adding that at least 11 service personnel "admitted to having knowledge of similar misconduct occurring on other occasions." 

Nevertheless, Sullivan had testified before the Senate committee that he did not think this behavior was "systemic within our organization." 

Johnson went on to list a series of complaints about the administration's handling of the review. He said the Justice Department refused the OIG's request for get permission to interview the prostitutes. He questioned the Secret Service's own internal investigation, and said the agency "may have interfered with the transparency" of the OIG probe -- since 10 senior Service officials "refused to be interviewed" and eight other current and former employees were unreachable. 

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., chairman of the homeland security committee, said in light of the memo he was reserving judgment -- and expressed concerns about the memo itself. 

"This unauthorized leak of sensitive, selective information from the IG's report is unfair to the United States Secret Service and its director, Mark Sullivan," he said in a statement. "Both have served our nation honorably and ably for a long time and deserve the benefit of a presumption of innocence unless real evidence leads to a different conclusion. I will await the Inspector General's finished report before making any judgments."

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan did not immediately reply to a request from FoxNews.com for comment on the Johnson memo (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Secret Service Officer Charged With Sexual Assault Of Girl, 14
Date:
October 24, 2012
Source:
Fox News


Abstract:
A Secret Service officer assigned to Vice President Joe Biden’s residence was arrested Monday for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in his custody.

Hector Reynaldo Cuellar of Woodbridge, Va., was charged with three counts of aggravated sexual battery and three counts of taking indecent liberties with a child by a custodian, according to a daily incident report released by the Prince William County Police Department. He is being held without bond.

“The investigation revealed that the 14-year-old female victim was sexually assaulted by the accused family member on separate occasions between August and October of 2012,” according to the Prince William County Police Department’s daily incident report.

“The investigation revealed that the 14-year-old female victim was sexually assaulted by the accused family member on separate occasions between August and October of 2012.”

- Prince William County Police Department’s daily incident report

There is no mention of his employment with the Secret Service in the police report, but sources told FoxNews.com that Cuellar, 51, is a uniformed division officer assigned to the vice president’s residence in Washington, D.C.

In response to FoxNews.com’s request for comment, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said via email:

“We are aware of the arrest of this employee. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of judicial action. Any other questions should be referred to the Prince William County police.”

When asked how long Cuellar has been with the Secret Service, Donovan told FoxNews.com, "We aren't providing any further information at this point."

Sources also said that on Tuesday afternoon, the Secret Service’s Security Clearance Division sent around a “Do Not Admit” email notification throughout the agency for Hector Cuellar. 

Police were first notified on Sunday, according to the police incident report.

“On October 21st, detectives from the Special Victim Unit received a report of a sexual assault, reported to have occurred in the Woodbridge area of Prince William County,” the report says.

Cuellar was arrested the next day following a police investigation (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Secret Service Agent Kills Self Amid Affair Probe
Date:
November 1, 2012
Source:
My Fox NY


Abstract:
A senior Secret Service agent who was being investigated by the government for failing to disclose a long-standing relationship with a foreign citizen killed himself last week in Washington, people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

Rafael Prieto, a married father assigned to the security detail for President Barack Obama, had acknowledged to U.S. investigators that he had been having an affair for years with a woman from Mexico, these people said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Prieto's death or the investigation. Prieto's relationship was revealed to Secret Service investigators by an agent who had been entangled in the Colombian prostitution scandal earlier this year, these people say. That agent was concerned that the Secret Service wasn't enforcing its rules consistently.

Secret Service rules require that employees with a security clearance notify the agency about any relationship with a foreign citizen to ensure that the person is not a risk to national security. There is no evidence that Prieto's relationship posed any security threat. Failing to disclose such a relationship would be a violation of the agency's administrative rules, not a crime.

Prieto was serving on the protective detail for Obama, though he was not on duty at the time of his suicide. As recently as 2009, he was identified as the resident agent in charge at the Secret Service's office in White Plains, N.Y. He had worked for the Secret Service for 22 years. He was 47, according to public records.

Prieto's apparent cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning. He was found in his car with the engine running. His death was being investigated by Metropolitan Police in Washington and the medical examiner's office.

"Rafael Prieto had a distinguished 20-year career with the Secret Service that was marked by accomplishment, dedication and friendships," agency spokesman Edwin Donovan said in a statement. "The Secret Service is mourning the loss of a valued colleague."

The Secret Service protects the lives of the president, vice president and their families, and also investigates counterfeiting, bank fraud, computer hacking and other financial crimes.

The behavior of Secret Service agents and officers has come under scrutiny since 13 employees were implicated in a prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, in April.

Those employees were in Caribbean resort city in advance of Obama's arrival for a South American summit. After a night of heavy partying in some of Cartagena's bars and clubs, the employees brought women, including prostitutes, back to the where they were staying. The incident became public after one agent refused to pay a prostitute and argued with her in the hotel hallway. Prieto was never in Colombia during the scandal.

Eight of those Secret Service employees have been forced out of the agency, three were cleared of serious misconduct and at least two employees are fighting to get their jobs back.

The scandal prompted Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan to issue a new code of conduct that barred employees from drinking within 10 hours of the start of a shift or bringing foreigners to their hotel rooms (My Fox NY, 2012).