Obama Secret Service Agents Accused of Misconduct

By David Jackson, USA TODAY

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/04/obama-secret-service-agents-suspended/1?csp=34news#.T4mbNCNSSFc

A dozen Secret Service agents on President Obama’s security detail have been sent home from a summit in Colombia over allegations of misconduct involving prostitutes, officials said. 

“A U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity, put the number of agents at 12,” reported The Associated Press, “The agency was not releasing the number of personnel involved.”

Obama is in Cartagena, Colombia, for this weekend’s Summit of the Americas.

Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan declined to comment on specifics, but said that “these personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the President’s trip.”

“There have been allegations of misconduct made against Secret Service personnel in Cartagena, Colombia prior to the President’s trip,” Donovan said in a statement.

He added:

“Because of this, those personnel are being relieved of their assignments, returned to their place of duty, and are being replaced by other Secret Service personnel. The Secret Service takes all allegations of misconduct seriously.

This entire matter has been turned over to our Office of Professional Responsibility, which serves as the agency’s internal affairs component.”

The Washington Post noted that “there have been other incidents involving Obama’s security detail over the past year:”

In November, Christopher W. Deedy, a federal agent with the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, was charged with second-degree murder after shooting a man during a dispute outside a McDonald’s in Hono­lulu. Though Deedy was off-duty at the time, he was on the island to provide advance security arrangements for Obama’s trip to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

In August, Daniel L. Valencia, a Secret Service agent, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Decorah, Iowa, where he was helping arrange security for Obama’s bus trip through three Midwestern states. Valencia, who was off-duty at the time of the arrest, was recently sentenced to two days in jail with credit for time served, and a fine of $1,250.