Share This Page

Obama to name old hand to head Secret Service

| Monday, March 4, 2013, 7:42 p.m.

WASHINGTON — President Obama has chosen a veteran Secret Service official who oversaw criminal investigations to head the agency, which last year became embroiled in a prostitution scandal in Colombia, a government source said.

In the next few days, Obama will appoint David O'Connor, a former assistant director of investigations who retired last year, as director of the agency that protects the president and top officials.

The White House had no comment, and the Department of Homeland Security would not confirm that he was to be appointed.

O'Connor will replace Mark Sullivan, who retired last month after almost three decades with the agency. The post of Secret Service director does not require Senate confirmation.

Sullivan was in charge of the Secret Service when it became embroiled in a scandal involving agents taking prostitutes back to their hotel rooms in Colombia before a visit by Obama to Cartagena in April 2012. Sullivan was generally credited with acting aggressively in response to one of the biggest scandals to hit the agency.

O'Connor, who was with the Secret Service for more than 25 years, oversaw criminal investigations and was in charge of agents in the field.

Previously, he was in charge of dignitary protection, which included the 2008 Democratic National Convention where Obama was selected as the party's presidential candidate.

Earlier in his Secret Service career, O'Connor was special agent in charge of the Newark, N.J., office.

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.