Report: Secret Service Agents Left White House to Patrol Employee’s House
By Glynn Cosker
Editor, In Homeland Security
The last thing the U.S. Secret Service needs is news of another brewing scandal, but that is what they got Wednesday.
John Roth, Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security released a statement outlining an occurrence in 2011 that he referred to as a “serious lapse in judgment.” The report was made public by The Associated Press.
The investigation revealed that high-ranking Secret Service officials removed agents from their posts patrolling the White House and sent them to monitor a private situation in a fellow agent’s neighborhood for five days.
According to Roth, a female employee in the director’s office told her manager about an assault inflicted on her father. A now-retired Secret Service director stepped in to help the agent and her father by authorizing security checks around their rural Maryland home—an hour’s drive away from the White House.
“The Secret Service’s mission is to protect the President of the United States, and not to involve itself in an employee’s purely private dispute best handled by the local police,” said Roth in a statement.
The operation, first reported by The Washington Post in May, gained the monikers “Operation Moonlight” or “Operation Moonshine,” Roth’s report states.
It’s the latest embarrassing setback for the Secret Service coming one month after an armed man jumped a fence and made his way into the White House.
Soon after that incident, news broke of an armed felon sharing an elevator with President Obama while visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in September. Julia Pierson resigned her post as director soon after a congressional hearing into the breaches. This particular breach of protocol occurred under the watch of Mark Sullivan, Pierson’s predecessor.
In 2012, the agency faced allegations that members had hired prostitutes in Colombia while awaiting an official visit by President Obama.
The Secret Service stated that they were looking into the OIG memo and were “reviewing it for its findings.”