Thursday, May 3, 2012

Secret Service Prostitution Scandal

Cartagena, Columbia

Secret Service agents involved in the prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Columbia in April 2012 before President Obama’s visit to the Summit of the Americas have recently been investigated.  Agents have been accused of bringing prostitutes back to their hotel rooms in Hotel El Caribe.  The Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan has cooperated with congressional investigators for the prostitution scandal.

The House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King has given fifty answers to questions from the controversy in Cartagena of a possible security breach.  He has also has reported that ten women have been questioned in relation to the scandal and nine were claiming they had been paid as prostitutes by the Secret Service agents.

Three Secret Service agents involved with the scandal have refused to take polygraph tests and cooperate with authorities.  The other nine have decided to cooperate and did not fail the tests, yet their responses have led to the loss of their jobs either by resigning or by being forced out.  Others have been cleared of serious wrongdoing.  One agent reportedly answered that he had “actively engaged” with a prostitute, but told officials he did not realize that she was a prostitute.  The military was conducting its own investigations but has since cancelled security clearances of the twelve Secret Service agents involved.

Since these investigations have ensued, other allegations have surfaced regarding agents’ misconduct including events in Utah in the Winter Olympics 2002, in Encinitas, California in February 2002, and in El Salvador last year.  These allegations have raised doubts about the professionalism and integrity of the agents as they should portray a better reputation.  They should still be held to the same standards as the rest of the U.S. citizens, if not to a higher level.  In fact, it is not a surprise that they have been the subject of jokes even at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner this past Saturday, April 28 when President Obama joked, “I really do enjoy attending these dinners.  In fact, I had a lot more material prepared, but I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their curfew.”


Monica Trigoso
Editor-in-Chief, Criminal Law Brief

Image by frivolous_accumulation

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