ShareThis Page
Nation

Report doesn't find sexual misconduct norm at agency

| Friday, Dec. 20, 2013, 8:06 p.m.

WASHINGTON — A long-awaited report analyzing the male-dominated culture of the Secret Service has concluded that the elite law enforcement agency does not have a widespread problem with its employees engaging in sexual misconduct while on official business.

The findings of the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general come 1 12 years after more than a dozen Secret Service agents and officers were implicated in a prostitution scandal on President Obama's trip to Cartagena, Colombia. Congress requested the report after agency officials testified that the behavior was an aberration and not indicative of a broader institutional lack of control and accountability within the agency.

The report determined that there have been isolated cases of misbehavior, and investigators recommended that the Secret Service implement 14 new guidelines to identify and address misconduct by employees. Investigators said the agency has implemented 11 of the recommendations.

“Although individual employees have engaged in misconduct or inappropriate behavior, we did not find evidence that misconduct is widespread in USSS,” the Office of the Inspector General's report concluded, according to a copy obtained late Thursday by The Washington Post. “Furthermore, we did not find any evidence that USSS leadership has fostered an environment that tolerates inappropriate behavior.”

The report warned, however, that the agency “should continue to monitor and address excessive alcohol consumption and personal conduct within its workforce.”

Investigators highlighted a 2010 incident that was “similar to Cartagena but was not thoroughly investigated.” In that case, an agent was alleged to have consorted with foreign prostitutes while on an international trip and returned to work after a long absence, smelling of alcohol, according to his colleagues.

“Both incidents occurred while employees were off duty supporting a presidential protective visit in a foreign country,” the report said. “Individuals consumed alcohol; interacted with ⅛female foreign nationals; and were untruthful when initially questioned by managers.”

The broad findings are expected to be criticized by some in Congress because the report hinges on an anonymous survey of employees and because they were issued by an office that is itself under investigation for impropriety.

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.

click me