You have to hand it to Secret Service agents. They put their lives on the line to protect the president and other high-profile leaders while staying in the shadows themselves. But we're sure they like it that way. No news is good news. It means they're doing their jobs and keeping everyone safe. Unfortunately, though, the agency has made headlines lately, thanks to hard-to-believe scandals filled with not-so-discreet details.
This week a prep team of agents, in Amsterdam ahead of President Obama's visit, were sent home for bad behavior. In fact, agents have been cited for 824 cases of misconduct in less than 10 years. And in recent years, a few cases have stood out as the craziest. Let's look back.
South American Call Girls
In April 2012, agents brought strippers back to their rooms in Colombia while they were in Cartagena ahead of Obama's visit. According to an official report: "While off duty, several employees were suspected of soliciting prostitutes and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol." They were apparently caught after fighting with a woman named Dania Suarez, interviewed below, over payment in a hotel hallway. Thirteen were involved, and following the news, six resigned, four had their security clearance revoked, and three went back on the job.
A One-Night Stand Gone Wrong
This May 2013 incident, first reported in November of that year, went down at the Hay-Adams Hotel, a stone's throw from the White House. Ignacio Zamora Jr., a senior supervisor responsible for more than 20 agents, was found trying to break in to the hotel room of a woman he met the night before at the hotel bar. He apparently had left a bullet from his weapon in her room, and when she wouldn't let him back inside, he tried to get in anyway. In the investigation that followed, the agency reportedly found explicit emails Zamora and another agent, Timothy Barraclough, sent to a female subordinate.
Blacked-Out in Amsterdam
Despite steps taken by the Obama administration, including the appointment of a woman (Julia Pierson) to head the boys-club agency, out-of-line agents struck again during Obama's current trip to Europe. Three agents were sent packing after a hotel worker found one drunk and passed out in his hotel hallway. The two others were sent back to the states since they did not intervene. All were members of the very important Counter Assault Team, meant to protect against potential assassins. How exactly do you do that when you're passed-out drunk . . . or totally hungover?