Washington: The US government has revealed details of serious allegations against Secret Service agents and officers since 2004, including claims of involvement with prostitutes, leaking sensitive information and illegal wiretaps.
The heavily censored list, which runs into 229 pages, includes allegations such as publishing pornography, sexual assault, improper use of weapons and drunken behavior, and was quietly released under the US Freedom of Information Act following the Secret Service prostitution scandal that erupted in April in Colombia.
According to the New York Times, some of the accusations occurred as recently as last month, while in many cases; the government noted that some of the claims were resolved administratively, with others being formally investigated.
The new disclosures of so many serious accusations added to the concerns expressed by the US Congress that the prostitution scandal exposed a culture of misconduct within the Secret Service.
Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan apologized for the incident during a hearing in May but insisted that what happened in Colombia was ‘an isolated case’.
The complaints included an alleged sexual assault reported in August 2011, along with an anonymous complaint in October 2003 that a Secret Service agent “may have been involved with a prostitution ring”.
In addition, in 2005, a Secret Service agent was reported to the Washington field office for being arrested on a charge of solicitation in a park, while in 2008, an on-duty uniform division officer was arrested in a Washington prostitution sting.
Secret Service officials did not respond to the questions about the accusations.
A dozen Secret Service officers, agents and supervisors were implicated in the Colombia scandal while eight have been forced out of the agency.
First Published: Saturday, June 16, 2012, 21:08