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Two Secret Service agents dismissed from president's detail

Nov. 14, 2013 at 7:15 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Two Secret Service agents were let go from President Obama's detail after alleged misconduct earlier this year in Washington, The Washington Post reported.

An incident at the Hay-Adams hotel in May involved Ignacio Zamora Jr., a senior supervisor in charge of Obama's security detail, who allegedly was found trying to re-enter a woman's room after accidentally leaving behind a bullet from his gun, the Post reported Tuesday.

The incident has not been previously reported. The Post said information about the hotel incident and related findings were provided by four people briefed on the case.

During the investigation, officials found Zamora and another supervisor, Timothy Barraclough, sent sexually suggestive emails to a female subordinate, those knowledgeable about the case told the Post.

Whether the hotel incident and the suggestive emails were related was not reported.

Zamora was removed from his position and Barraclough was shifted from the detail to another part of the division, officials said.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan declined to comment and said no employees, including Zamora and Barraclough, wanted to comment. Efforts to speak to Zamora, Barraclough, their attorney or the female agent also were unsuccessful, the Post said.

"We have always maintained that the Secret Service has a professional and dedicated workforce," Donovan said in a statement. "Periodically we have isolated incidents of misconduct, just like every organization does."

The agency works "diligently with our Office of Professional Responsibility and Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General" to resolve such cases "appropriately and quickly," Donovan said.

The Post said the inspector general's office didn't know about the Hay-Adams incident or related findings until the newspaper began asking about the case last month, people briefed on the matter said.

The case was referred to the inspector general the week of Oct. 28. The office preliminarily concluded the Secret Service handled the case administratively and the alleged misconduct did not require independent review, one person familiar with the referral said.

The hotel incident happened about a year after the Secret Service was embroiled in a prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, prompting senior officials to vow to corral a culture of hard partying and other excessive behavior.

Bill Hillburg, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, said a report on Secret Service culture would be released in coming weeks. He declined to tell the Post whether the Hay-Adams case was included in the review.

"At each stage, as we conducted interviews, we were made aware of other incidents and potential misconduct that we are now pursuing," Hillburg said.

Topics: Barack Obama
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