Secret Service agents and managers have engaged in sexual misconduct and other improprieties across a span of 17 countries in recent years, according to accounts given by whistleblowers to the Senate committee that oversees the department.
Sen. Ronald H. Johnson (Wis.), ranking Republican on a Homeland Security subcommittee, said Thursday that the accounts directly contradict repeated assertions by Secret Service leaders that the elite agency does not foster or tolerate sexually improper behavior.
The allegations come in the wake of a prostitution scandal last year in Cartagena, Colombia, that roiled the Secret Service and prompted numerous reviews of its male-dominated culture. In a subsequent episode, The Washington Post reported this week, two supervisors were cut from President Obama’s security detail after allegedly sending sexually explicit e-mails to a female agent.
Johnson said that one of those disciplined supervisors, Ignacio Zamora Jr., had helped lead the internal investigation into the April 2012 incident in Cartagena, where more than a dozen agents engaged in a night of heavy drinking and carousing with prostitutes ahead of a presidential visit.