Report: 1 in 10 Secret Service agents aware of 'security concern' due to colleagues' excess drinking

Survey: “Did the excessive alcohol consumption occur during a protective assignment?” 65 percent of respondents said yes.
By JC Sevcik  |  March 26, 2014 at 5:35 PM
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Findings of a report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General show that roughly 10 percent of the 2,575 Secret Service employees surveyed were aware of "excessive alcohol consumption" by colleagues "that causes a security concern."

The news comes just a day after the Secret Service's latest debacle in which three agents were sent home from preparing a Netherlands hotel for President Obama's stay later this week after one of the agents was found passed out drunk in a hallway.

The report, "Adequacy of USSS Efforts to Identify, Mitigate, and Address Instances of Misconduct and Inappropriate Behavior," is a 90-page document, declassified but still rife with redacted passages, meant to address concerns about misconduct raised by the 2012 Secret Service prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Columbia.

It includes an appendix that breaks down respondents' answers to 34 questions designed to gauge the pervasiveness of inappropriate behavior. Questions 1-27 and 29-34 are fairly bureaucratic and seem to be largely concerned with validating that the employee is aware of what constitutes proper conduct and is further aware of the chain of command to report any observed misconduct.

Question 28 however, has several sub-questions, spanning seven pages, and is concerned specifically with the excessive consumption of alcohol, the solicitation of prostitutes, and personal conduct becoming a security concern.

The survey asked, “Did the excessive alcohol consumption occur during a protective assignment?” 65 percent answered yes.

Over 20 percent of those who admitted to being aware of excessive alcohol consumption replied that they believe the problem is systemic throughout the Secret Service.

Over 85 percent of respondents who witnessed excessive drinking by colleagues admitted to not reporting the behavior.

Of the 19 respondents who admitted to personally observing the solicitation of prostitutes, 100 percent failed to report the misconduct when it occurred. When asked why not, 63 percent answered “I do not believe management is supportive of employees reporting the behavior.”

Nevertheless, the report prepared by the inspector general determined that the Department of Homeland Security “did not find evidence that misconduct is widespread in USSS.”

[Department of Homeland Security]

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