It might be called the Secret Service, but there's nothing secret about the group's reckless behavior lately. And now the director has been called to Capitol Hill to address it.
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson met with senators and Homeland Security Tuesday. Her first year at the helm has been mired with misconduct by a handful of agents. (Via The White House)
Pierson said: "I have made clear to the entire workforce that I will not tolerate unprofessional behavior or misconduct at any level—both on and off duty. ... These are isolated incidents of misconduct and we're working every day to correct our behavior." Still, actions speak louder than words. (Via Time)
"Three Secret Service agents have been sent home from the Netherlands for excessive drinking. One of them allegedly was found passed out." (Via CNN)
And that's just the latest clip fired in a series of offenses.
Just weeks before, two agents crashed a rental car inside a grocery store parking lot in Florida, according to the Miami Herald. Although a local trooper might have smelled alcohol, he says the agents didn't seem impaired during a sobriety test. But no breathalyzer or blood sample was taken. (Via Miami Herald)
And recall last May when 12 agents were accused of partying in Colombia and DEA agents admitted they purchased the services of prostitutes for a Secret Service agent days prior to the president's arrival — a scandal that led to several removed from the agency. (Via NBC, The Washington Post, ABC)
"What we need obviously is a Secret Service that conducts itself with the highest standards. ... We've got this situation that's more like a fraternity party." (Via HLN)
Retired Secret Service agent, former Marine Corps captain and CIA officer Dan Emmett says the problem is less about booze and misbehavior and more about shoddy management.
Emmett says a handful of senior agents pick from the lot, and decisions about who will move up the ranks are based more on politics and popularity than on skills. And though that's common with other professions, he thinks the bar should be set much higher for the agency responsible for protecting the president. (Via The Washington Post)
Despite the recent misconduct, a White House aide says President Obama continues to support the Secret Service and still feels Pierson is the right person to lead the beleaguered agency. (Via The Hill)