Administration

DEA chief resigns after ‘sex parties’ scandal

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The longtime head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is stepping down after a sex scandal at her agency.

DEA chief Michele Leonhart, who joined the Drug Enforcement Administration 35 years ago and has led the agency since 2007, will leave her post in mid-May, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

{mosads}“As the first woman ever to reach the rank of special agent in charge, she was a trailblazer for equality and an inspiration to countless others,” Holder said. “She devoted her life and her professional career to the defends of our nation and the protection of our citizens, and for that, I am deeply grateful.”

Leonhart was grilled last week by lawmakers over alleged “sex parties” funded by Colombian drug cartels in which her agents participated.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle accused Leonhart of covering up the parties, and the House Oversight Committee issued a statement after the hearing saying it had “no confidence” in her leadership.

“After over a decade of serving in top leadership positions at DEA, Administrator Leonhart has been woefully unable to change or positively influence the pervasive ‘good old boy’ culture that exists throughout the agency,” the lawmakers wrote.

The top Democrat on the committee called the revelations “deplorable.”

What’s more, Republicans accused the DEA of giving the agents a “two-week vacation” by punishing them with paid leave suspensions of no more than 10 days.

“So these agents compromised our national security and then essentially got a vacation,” House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said at the hearing.

Leonhart was confirmed as the head of the DEA in December 2010, but has presided over the agency since 2007 as acting administrator.

Tags Eric Holder Jason Chaffetz

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