Three Secret Service agents leave due to prostitution scandal

Three secret service agents allegedly involved in the prostitution scandal in Colombia are leaving the law enforcement agency.

One supervisor will retire, another supervisor is being "removed for cause" and a third uniformed agent will resign.


"Although the Secret Service's investigation into allegations of misconduct by its employees in Cartagena, Colombia, is in its early stages, and is still ongoing, three of the individuals involved will separate or are in the process of separating from the agency," Paul S. Morrissey, the assistant director of the U.S. Secret Service Office of Government and Public Affairs said in a statement.

The other 8 agents allegedly involved in the scandal are still under investigation with their security clearances suspended while on administrative leave, Morrissey said.

The supervisor "removed for cause" has the opportunity to respond and the right to be represented by private law counsel, Morrissey said.

"The Secret Service continues to conduct a full, thorough and fair investigation, utilizing all investigative techniques available to our agency," Morrissey said. "This includes polygraph examinations, interviews with the employees involved, and witness interviews to include interviews being conducted by our Office of Professional Responsibility in Cartagena, Colombia."

Morrissey said since the allegations were reported last week, the Secret Service has "actively pursued" the investigation and had acted to ensure that appropriate disciplinary action is effected.

"We demand that all of our employees adhere to the highest professional and ethical standards and are committed to a full review of this matter," Morrissey said.

The issue has found its way into the presidential campaign with Mitt Romney, the likely GOP nominee saying he would "clean house" at the agency.

"The right thing to do is to remove the people who have violated the public trust and have put their play time and their personal interests ahead of the interests of the nation," Romney said in a radio interview.

On Tuesday White House spokesman Jay Carney backed Secret Service director Mark Sullivan, saying President Obama had "confidence" in him and that he "acted quickly in response to this incident."

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyAnother voice of reason retires Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — FDA moves to sell hearing aids over-the-counter McConnell: GOP should focus on future, not 'rehash' 2020 MORE (R-Iowa), the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, called the departures combined with the investigation, "positive signs that there is a serious effort to get to the bottom of this scandal."

"I've always said that if heads don't roll, the culture in a federal agency will never change," he said.

Grassley added that the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General will continue "digging deeper" to learn the entire story behind the incident and to determine if there's a "broader culture that needs to be addressed."

On Wednesday Sullivan was questioned by lawmakers on whether the incident put the president's security in jeopardy. Sullivan said an inspector general would hold an independent review of the incident.

Obama's trip to Colombia last week was overshadowed by allegations that 11 Secret Service agents partied before the president's arrival and brought prostitutes back to their hotel rooms.