WASHINGTON -- Secret Service agents and officers have been accused of involvement with prostitutes, leaking sensitive information, publishing pornography, sexual assault, illegal wiretaps, improper use of weapons and drunken behavior, according to internal government reports reviewed by The Associated Press on Friday. It wasn't immediately clear how many of the accusations turned out to be true.
The new disclosures of so many serious accusations since 2004 lend weight to concerns expressed by Congress that the Secret Service prostitution scandal in April in Colombia exposed a culture of misconduct within the agency. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan apologized for the incident during a hearing in May but insisted that what happened in Colombia was an isolated case.
A leading senator who has been investigating the Colombia scandal, Susan Collins, R-Maine, said some of the accusations appeared legitimate and that "adds to my concern about apparent misconduct by some of the personnel of this vital law enforcement agency."
"The key question is whether these incidents indicate a larger cultural problem," Collins said Friday.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, said Friday that an investigation by the Secret Service's inspector general is continuing and the public should withhold judgment until that review is complete.
The heavily censored list, which runs 229 pages, was quietly released under the U.S. Freedom of
Some of the accusations occurred as recently as last month. In many cases, the government noted that some of the claims were resolved administratively, and others were being formally investigated.
The complaints included an alleged sexual assault reported in August 2011. In the heavily censored entry, an employee was accused of pushing a woman who also worked for the agency onto a bed during a work trip. The employee "got on top of (censored) attempting to have sex," even though the woman "told (censored) 'no' several times." The entry noted that supervisors described the accused as "a conscientious and dependable employee." The incident was closed with an "administrative disposition" in February.
They also included an anonymous complaint in October 2003 that a Secret Service agent "may have been involved with a prostitution ring," noting that two telephone numbers belonging to the agent, who has since retired, turned up as part of an FBI investigation into a prostitution ring.