Two Secret Service Agents Axed from Obama Protection Detail

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Two Secret Service agents responsible for overseeing the security detail for President Obama were quietly removed from their roles earlier this year after multiple allegations of misconduct.

The agents prompted an internal investigation, according to the Washington Post's scoop on yet another story of (alleged!) bad behavior at the agency. Thanks to a notorious incident last year involving several Secret Service agents, lots of alcohol, and some prostitutes in Colombia, the agency's reputation is still on shaky ground. The Post's report, citing four anonymous sources, comes as the Department of Homeland Security prepares to release the results of an investigation into the Secret Service's culture, prompted by the incident in Colombia.  

The Post's Carol D. Leonnig and David Nakamura explain that a senior supervisor named Ignacio Zamora Jr. drew some attention to himself when he tried to break into a woman's room at the Hay-Adams this past May. Zamora claimed that he needed to get back into the room, which he'd recently visited, because he accidentally left a bullet from his service weapon inside. The Secret Service looked into it, only to discover that Zamora and fellow supervisor Timothy Barraclough had sent a series of sexually suggestive messages to a female subordinate. Both agents have since lost their Obama details. 

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Two months before the alleged incident with Zamora at the Hay-Adams, the Secret Service got its first female director, Julia Pierson. That appointment is more or less seen as a direct response to the increasingly public "boys' club" reputation of the agency, the subject of the pending Inspector General's report. Former Secret Service director Mark Sullivan retired earlier this year, several months after the Colombia Secret Service scandal went public. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.