Last Updated:November 28 @ 05:03 pm

Misconduct alleged against Secret Service agents

By Julie Pace and Frank Bajak

CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) - President Barack Obama's diplomatic mission to Latin America this weekend threatened to be overshadowed by alleged misconduct by a dozen Secret Service agents sent to provide security for him in Colombia.

On Friday night, a caller who said he had knowledge of the situation, told The Associated Press the misconduct involved prostitutes in Cartagena, site of the Summit of the Americas. A Secret Service spokesman did not dispute that.

The White House had no comment, but also did not dispute the allegations.

A U.S. official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity, put the number of agents at 12. The agency was not releasing the number of personnel involved.

The alleged activities took place before Obama arrived Friday in this Colombian port city for meetings with 33 other regional leaders. Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said the agents involved were relieved from duty and replaced with other agency personnel.

"These personnel changes will not affect the comprehensive security plan that has been prepared in advance of the president's trip," Donovan said.

Still, the allegations were an embarrassment for the president and his delegation while guests of the Colombian government. And the incident threatened to torpedo White House efforts to keep the president's trip focused squarely on the economy and boosting U.S. trade ties with fast-growing Latin America.

Obama was to hold two days of summit meetings with regional leaders before heading back to Washington Sunday night.

The agents at the center of the allegations had stayed at Cartagena's Hotel Caribe. Several members of the White House staff and press corps were also staying at the hotel.

A hotel employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job, said the agents arrived at the beachfront hotel about a week ago. The employee described the agents as drinking heavily during their stay.

The employee said the agents left the hotel Thursday, a day before Obama and other regional leaders arrived for the weekend summit.

The hotel's public relations chief had no comment.

The Washington Post reported that Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said the accusations related to at least one agent having involvement with prostitutes in Cartagena. The association represents federal law enforcement officers, including the Secret Service.

Adler later told the AP that he had heard that there were allegations of prostitution, but he had no specific knowledge of any wrongdoing.

Donovan said the agency personnel involved had been sent back from Colombia to their permanent place of duty. The matter was turned over to the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility, which handles the agency's internal affairs.


Associated Press writers Libardo Cardona and Pedro Mendoza contributed to this report.

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  1. downdraftComment by downdraft
    April 14, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    Basically…Obamas go on so many personal “joy” trips, disguised as “international relations”, that the Secret Service guys feel they are assigned to a couple of “boozers” and blood suckers….so they simply join in…

    On the other hand, I don’t think our Secret Service assigned to protect the President are irresponsible…they place their lives on the line for that faker and liar, and they know how much of a fake he is…she is no different.

    Also, if an occasion happens that they have to defend him against some idiot….Obama would take the credit and photo ops for himself.

    Some Commander In Chief….whatta guy!

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    • dorisComment by doris
      April 14, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

      I wouldn’t take a bullet for this guy, but if that is your job and you can’t do it, you should look for another job. Oh, I almost forgot – thanks to DumBO unemployment is at a record high. They might not find another job. And, they are probably trapped by the golden handcuffs. Still, a LEADER (I’m not saying that we have one, by any means) should not ask more of his minions than he does of himself. I suspect that DumBO is just reaping what he has sown.

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  2. toddyoComment by toddyo
    April 14, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    Being a sworn agent to help protect our leaders and the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic has to be almost overwhelming when the leader you are assigned to protect has no regard for his own office or its responsibilities under the Constitution.

    I smell a rat.

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    • downdraftComment by downdraft
      April 14, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

      “I smell a rat.” In the Oval Office….or….?

      You know some guys in the secret Service, CIA, or other agents would set up a bozo who is attempting to destroy one’s country…you know, make him look bad, embarrass him, or to look like the narcissistic punk he is…causing him to look foolish in from of foreign dignataries…

      Well, maybe not…he has already done those things by himself w/o any help.

      I don’t know just how many patriots we have left in agencies like the Secret Service, CIA, FBI, DOJ etc…but I would guess they are in a very good position to see what this man is doing to their country, and asking them to do it for him…

      I’m sure they are not at all happy with these assignments of self-destruction…that is if they are patriots.

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  3. cxComment by genesal
    April 14, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    Obama doesn’t do his job, should he expect those who work for him to do their job? No! NObama is raping America and not paying for it ta-boot.

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  4. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    April 14, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

    I do believe that prostitution is not illegal, or at least it is ignored by the authorities, in many countries outside the USA. Perhaps it was a case of ‘When in Rome,…..’. Btw, 1n 1968 prostitution was not illegal in Puert Rico, a US territory.Prostitutes in Puero Rico did have to take a government medical exam each week. I do not know if that is still the case today.

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  5. middlegroundComment by middleground
    April 14, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

    Was this a male or a female checking out the availability of prostitutes in Columbia and was that part of their duty assignment for the visiting donkeys?

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  6. Fred StratmanComment by Fred Stratman
    April 14, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

    They must be left over from the Bill Clinton days.

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    • bruceusaftacpComment by bruceusaftacp
      April 14, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

      How true that is. If they were there for Clinton or Kennedy, nothing would have been said.Just doing what was asked of them.

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