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Obama to name old hand to head Secret Service

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By Reuters
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.

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