Secret Service chief answers Congressmen's questions on prostitution scandal
POSTED: Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:14am
The head of the Secret Service testified for the first time Wednesday about the Colombian sex scandal that has rocked his agency.
Director Mark Sullivan says the agency has dealt with the employees who partied with prostitutes and has strengthened the rules.
"These individuals did some really dumb things, and I can't just explain why they would've done
what they would do but I will tell you that I do not believe they did it because they believe that
this type of behavior would be tolerated," Sullivan told members of Congress.
He also rejected reports that road parties by his agents and officers were so commonplace they had a nickname: The Secret Circus
Lawmakers aren't buying it.
"This misconduct was almost certainly not an isolated incident," said Senator Susan Collins of Maine.
"I just believe, and I have a lot of faith in our men and women, that somebody would've reported
this conduct because this is just goes beyond the pale," Sullivan said.
A survey by the Secret Service found only 60 percent of employees would report something unethical if they saw it.
The Washington Post reports some of the employees who lost their jobs claim what happened in Colombia was "business as usual".
They want their jobs back, but Sullivan says they're done.
As for the women involved, the investigation shows they posed no danger to the president's security.
Senators also asked the Homeland Security Agency's inspector general to ramp up a second, completely independent investigation into the scandal.