Two senior Secret Service agents reportedly crashed into the White House security barricades following a late-night party for Ed Donovan, a retiring spokesman. The two were suspected to be inebriated while driving a government vehicle back to the White House.
The incident is the latest among a litany of embarrassing misconduct cases involving the Secret Service, prompting the public to doubt the agency's leadership and its capacity to protect the president.
"If misconduct is identified, appropriate action will be taken based on established rules and regulations," said Brian Leary, spokesman for the Secret Service.
Sources said that law enforcement officers who saw the incident wanted to place the agents under arrest and make them take a field sobriety test. However, a police supervisor overruled the proposed action and eventually allowed the agents to go home.
According to the report, the two agents, while on their way back to the White House, arrived at a security-locked area wherein officers were investigating a suspicious package. The agents were said to have arrived at the scene with their overhead lights active which could be another violation of the Secret Service rules and regulations. Both agents then showed their badges in an attempt to get through. Without any warning, the agents then drove through the security tape and hit the temporarily set-up security barricade near the presidential home and headquarters.
The agents had been identified as Mark Connolly, the second in-command of the president's protection team, and George Ogilvie, a senior supervisor based in the Secret Services' field office in Washington, D.C.
Joseph Clancy, chief of the Secret Service, said that his office studied the allegations and turned the case over to the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security since the agents involved in the case are senior members.
"Drinking on the job isn't good at McDonald's and it certainly isn't good if you work for the Secret Service," said Jason Chaffetz, House Oversight Committee chairman. "Our committee will continue its investigation into the Secret Service and add this on to the list of embarrassments."
A Senior White House official said that President Obama had been aware of the allegations and had given support to Clancy's move to turn over to the DHS inspector general the matters of the case. Clancy assumed his post in October when he replaced a former head of the agency. The latter had been forced to be out of the office following a series of embarrassing lapses in terms of security which include an illegal entry case into the White House by a knife-wielding intruder.
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