Secret Service scandal includes three supervisors
Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan did not disclose during testimony one worker who was a supervisor with access to security information about the visit.
The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — A Secret Service employee implicated in the agency's prostitution scandal in Colombia this year was a supervisor with security information about President Obama's visit there.
Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan, whose agency has confirmed the involvement of the supervisor, delayed two weeks before disclosing that information to congressional oversight committees after public revelations about the scandal, according to a timeline provided by Sullivan's office and a member of Congress.
Also, while publicly testifying about the incident last month, Sullivan did not disclose that an additional agency employee implicated in the controversy was a supervisor and had access to security information about the visit.
Sullivan later urged lawmakers not to make that information public, a transcript of his testimony shows. An agency official said the director delayed providing that information to protect possible undercover agents.
On Friday, The Associated Press released a list of formal misconduct accusations made about Secret Service staff since 2004. The list, heavily redacted complaints made to the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general, included accusations employees had solicited prostitutes, been involved in sexual assaults, leaked sensitive information, published pornography, improperly used weapons and engaged in drunken behavior.
One anonymous complaint in 2011 asked the inspector general to investigate a claim Sullivan had ordered a contract worth millions of dollars be awarded to a specific contractor without competition.
Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Charles Edwards said through a spokesman Friday that his agency investigated the accusation against Sullivan and found no evidence to support it.
The documents do not indicate in many cases whether the complaints were proved true or whether any actions were ordered as a result.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the list was simply a log of incoming complaints. "Allegations of employee misconduct, whether they are received at the Secret Service ... or on an anonymous hotline, are taken seriously and fully investigated," he said.
In the Colombia misconduct case, the newly named employee, John Christman, is a supervisor in the agency's intelligence division, which reviews risks and threats to the president. He was an intelligence officer in an incident-command center for Obama's April trip to the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, according to agency personnel.
Christman declined to comment. He is the third supervisor implicated in the case, which has roiled the careers of more than a dozen agents and military officers.
Donovan said Christman's access to security information never jeopardized the president's safety. "In the eight weeks since this incident occurred, and throughout a comprehensive investigation, there has been no evidence found that any security-related information was compromised," he said.
Unlike the other agency employees implicated in the scandal, Christman had received security briefings and classified intelligence about Obama's upcoming visit.
Christman is on administrative leave pending completion of the investigation.
A preliminary internal investigation revealed a dozen Secret Service workers had brought foreign women to their hotel rooms two days earlier.
Christman voluntarily stepped forward roughly a week later to tell supervisors he had contact with a prostitute while working on the Cartagena trip.
He said that, while socializing with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, he accepted a massage from a woman he believed was a masseuse, officials said.
He said he stopped the massage when it became sexual, paid for the massage and left.
A DEA spokesman declined to comment.