Secret Service director Sullivan to resign after uneven career
By The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, 8:38 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan announced his retirement on Friday, bringing to a close a turbulent period for the law enforcement agency that included a South American prostitution scandal and a pair of White House gate-crashers.
In nearly seven years as director, Sullivan had to answer serious questions from lawmakers on two occasions about his employees' actions on the job and off.
In May, in testimony before Congress, Sullivan apologized for the conduct of Secret Service employees caught in a prostitution scandal in Colombia. Thirteen agents and officers were implicated after an agent argued with a prostitute over payment in a hotel hallway in Cartagena, Colombia.
The employees were in the Caribbean resort city before President Obama's arrival for a South American summit in April. After a night of heavy partying in some of Cartagena's bars and clubs, the men brought women, including prostitutes, back to their hotel.
Eight of those Secret Service employees were forced out of the agency, three were cleared of serious misconduct, and at least two were fighting to get their jobs back.
The incident prompted Sullivan to issue a new code of conduct that bars employees from drinking within 10 hours of the start of a shift and from taking foreigners to their hotel rooms.
In 2009, Sullivan had to answer questions about how a pair of aspiring socialites talked their way into a State dinner at the White House. That the pair made it into the highly secured event was not only a violation of protocol but raised questions about how easily an unauthorized person could gain close access to the president and vice president.
“In this case, I fully acknowledge the proper procedures were not followed and human error occurred in the execution of our duties,” Sullivan told lawmakers.
He struck a similar tone in May when he apologized to lawmakers for the behavior of the Secret Service employees in Colombia.
Sullivan's retirement will be effective Feb. 22.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Powerful quake shakes N. California; no injuries
- Former National Security Agency contractor Snowden’s leaks to cost billions, take years to fix
- Expats renounce citizenship over U.S. tax hassles
- Scientists: Test West Coast for Fukushima radiation
- 273 cited in Ohio in year for texting, driving
- 5 more Duke Energy plants cited
- Instances of illnesses found to vary greatly by insurer
- Death penalty under fire in Fla.
- Netanyahu tells Obama Palestinians derail peace
- Justices decline to hear Hazleton anti-immigrant case
- Bin Laden’s son-in-law goes on trial