Secret Service calls for investigation into report that units protected director's friend

The Secret Service is asking the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general to investigate allegations that top officials ordered agents responsible for patrolling the White House to intervene in a personal dispute.

Over the weekend, The Washington Post reported that agents were pulled from patrolling the White House perimeter to monitor the home of Lisa Chopey, an assistant to then-director Mark Sullivan. According to the report, Chopey had expressed concern that she was being harassed by her neighbor. But agents inside the Washington field office were concerned that the move increased security risks to the White House.

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"Director [Julie] Pierson has contacted Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Roth in regard to the allegations of improper use of Secret Service resources during July 2011," the Secret Service said in a statement issued Sunday. "The Director and DHS Inspector General are committed to completing a full investigation into these allegations."

Pierson pledged to "ensure the Secret Service responds to any findings from this investigation and implements any recommendations or corrective actions identified" by the inspector general's report, the agency said.

"She is committed to ensuring public trust and confidence in the Secret Service through the professionalism and integrity of its workforce at all levels. Any allegations of impropriety or misconduct will be aggressively investigated and addressed."

Pierson was appointed to replace Sullivan, who resigned less than a year after revelations that Secret Service agents had hired prostitutes ahead of a presidential visit to Colombia.

In March, the agency was further embarrassed when a Secret Service agent was found drunk by staff at a Dutch hotel ahead of the president's visit there. And last fall, an agent was reportedly cut from the president's detail after leaving a bullet in the room of a woman he met at a hotel bar near the White House.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) expressed concern over the agency's leadership during an interview with CBS News on Sunday.

"You have to ask if there is a leadership culture that needs to be ripped out at the Secret Service. This is just one more example of a leadership failure at the Secret Service. Very, very concerning," Rodgers said. "When you have someone removed from a post whose primary responsibility is to protect the president, and the White House and its occupants, that is very, very concerning."

In the statement, the agency stressed "a proud 150 year legacy of dedicated service to this nation."

"The 6,500 men and women of the Secret Service put their lives on the line every day on protective and investigative assignments around the world," the Secret Service said.