Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Politics

Politics

More Secret Service resignations expected over Colombia scandal as 2 men named

More Secret Service employees are expected to resign after they allegedly brought Colombian prostitutes to their Cartagena hotel while preparing for President Barack Obama's arrival in the country last week.

Meanwhile, two of those ousted in the scandal were identified late Thursday by news organizations -- with The Washington Post saying one had worked in a detail for Sarah Palin and made jokes on Facebook about "checking her out" from behind.

CBS News and the Post named the two men as supervisors David Chaney, who was allowed to retire, and Greg Stokes, who was removed from his post. The Department of Homeland Security had not yet confirmed the identities of the two supervisors, according to Fox News.

The third ousted agent, a non-supervisory employee who resigned, has yet to be identified.

Married father Chaney, 48, is reported to have made the Palin gag during the 2008 presidential campaign, when she was John McCain's running mate. He wrote about a picture he posted of himself behind the former Alaska governor, "I was really checking her out, if you know what I mean?"

Palin reacted angrily to news of the Facebook posts late Thursday, telling Fox News host Greta Van Susteren that she has "had enough" of the cavalier actions of the Secret Service agents and that responsibility for the scandal must be placed on the president.

"The president ... has got to start cracking down on these agencies," Palin said, before joking that agents may also be checking out the first lady, Michelle Obama.

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan told members of Congress he anticipated more resignations by the end of the week, according to CBS. Three agents were removed Tuesday and eight others put on administrative leave.

One of the trio is planning a lawsuit, CBS also reported, without specifying which employee. Others of the 11 Secret Service agents caught up in the probe have hired attorneys and have offered to cooperate with the internal investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter cited by The Wall Street Journal Thursday.

In addition to the Secret Service agents, 10 U.S. military service members have been implicated in the vice scandal and the Pentagon is investigating.

They reportedly visited a Cartagena brothel late last Wednesday and bragged to prostitutes they were in the city to protect Obama. They later brought the women back to their hotel, where an argument broke out the following morning over the amount of money owed to one of them.

The woman complained to police, who ultimately contacted government officials.

Only identified as Dania, the woman at the center of the scandal is reportedly a single mom in her mid-20s.

In an interview with The New York Times, she said the agent only wanted to pay her $30, not the $800 she had asked for, after their night together. She also insisted she is an escort, not a prostitute.

"You have higher rank," the buxom call girl told the paper. "An escort is someone who a man can take out to dinner. She can dress nicely, wear nice makeup, speak and act like a lady. That's me."

Neighbors told the Journal the woman left her home with her son Wednesday, and likely has left Cartagena.

The incident has put the culture of the Secret Service under scrutiny, with reports of long-running jokes like "wheels up, rings off" raising questions about discipline within the security agency.