Four Secret Service Agents Fired In Columbian Hooker-Gate Scandal To Fight Dismissals

May 23, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Four Secret Service employees have decided to fight their dismissals for engaging in inappropriate conduct in Colombia last month, a development that could unravel what has been a swift and tidy resolution to an embarrassing scandal over agents’ hiring of prostitutes.

The agents are arguing that the agency is making them scapegoats for behavior that the Secret Service has long tolerated, a charge that Director Mark Sullivan may have to address when he appears before a Senate committee Wednesday. He has not spoken in public about the controversy, but according to his prepared testimony, he plans to tell Congress that there was no breach of operational security.

Several of the implicated agents have told associates that the facts of what happened in Cartagena differ from initial media accounts describing a group outing of a dozen men in search of prostitutes. Instead, the men went to different bars and clubs and met women under a variety of circumstances, in some cases resulting in voluntary trysts that did not involve money.

One 29-year-old field agent assigned to the Washington office, who is single and who resigned under the threat of being fired, told investigators in a polygraph examination that he did not think at the time that the two women he brought back to his hotel room were prostitutes. He is among those seeking to overturn their dismissals, according to three people familiar with his case.

The scandal has badly damaged the Secret Service’s reputation, and the fallout has spread to other federal agencies. A dozen members of the military also are accused of hiring prostitutes on the trip, and the Drug Enforcement Administration is looking into allegations, made by a Secret Service agent during the investigation, that DEA members had previously brought prostitutes to their apartments in Cartagena.

According to interviews with multiple former and current employees and people briefed on the inquiry, the Secret Service agents involved brought women to their hotel rooms without hesi­ta­tion. The agency says it was clear that employees should not do anything unbecoming of a Secret Service employee. Current and former agency employees say sexual encounters during official travel had been condoned under an unwritten code that allows what happens on the road to stay there.

They also contend that this tolerance is part of the “Secret Circus” — a mocking nickname that some employees use to describe what ensues when large numbers of agents and officers arrive in a city.

Shortly after landing in Cartagena at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11, the 55 or so Secret Service members had down time to explore the Caribbean resort. They were there to provide extra security for Obama’s visit for an international summit but had two days before the commander in chief arrived. In Cartagena, prostitution is legal in designated “tolerance zones.”

Secret Service supervisor David Chaney, 48, had spent two decades with the agency and was among the most senior on the plane. He headed out that night to a strip club called the Pley Club, with junior agents in tow, according to two people with knowledge of the events.

Colleagues describe Chaney as gregarious — quick with a joke and to rally for colleagues facing a crisis — and too eager to befriend his subordinates. Efforts to reach Chaney were unsuccessful. Larry Berger, Chaney’s attorney, declined to discuss the details of the case, but said his client put the mission first and never compromised the president’s security.

Chaney has been married for 20 years, but that night he and his colleagues paid the Pley Club a small fee to take at least two of the performers back to the Hotel Caribe, where they and other members of Obama’s advance team were staying, according to the two people familiar with what happened that night.

Separately, a pair of married Secret Service agents who worked together on the agency’s tight-knit, elite counter­assault team — Arthur Huntington and Joe Bongino — headed to the historic old city of Cartagena. They hit the Hard Rock Cafe, which had been recommended in the briefing guide prepared by the State Department, but it was dead. They moved down the street to Tu Candela, a popular bar and disco.

Although the service warns agents in training seminars that extramarital affairs could expose them to blackmail, some married agents are widely known to cheat on their wives. Associates said Huntington, 41, was one who acted differently on many of his trips than he did at home.

Efforts to reach Bongino and Huntington, who has since moved with his wife and two young sons out of their Severna Park home, were unsuccessful.

Huntington’s family has been active in Granite Baptist Church in Glen Burnie.

In Cartagena, while at Tu Candela that Wednesday night, Huntington asked Dania Suarez, a 24-year-old prostitute, to spend the night with him. She agreed in exchange for a “gift” of $800, she later told a television interviewer. Her girlfriend agreed to join Bongino for no charge, Suarez said. People briefed on the investigation corroborated this version of events.

A total of 12 agents were implicated in the activities of that night, after registering the women at the Hotel Caribe’s front desk in keeping with the hotel’s policy for non-paying overnight guests, according to multiple people briefed on the investigation.

Three of those implicated, including Bongino, were cleared of serious misconduct charges. In addition to the four who are challenging their dismissals, at least four others were forced out: Chaney, who immediately took early retirement; Huntington, who was pushed to resign; and two others, who were also dismissed. The fate of one agent is unknown.

One of those cleared is a single agent who speaks Spanish, and who picked up a local woman at the same bar and took her back to his hotel independent of his colleagues, according to two people briefed on the incident. He — along with Bongino and another colleague — kept their jobs after proving that they did not pay for sex. But both the Spanish-speaking agent and Bongino have been shifted off the elite counter­assault team, those briefed on the incident said.

One of those who resigned under pressure but now wants to reverse that move is the single 29-year-old from the Washington field office, who was out with a divorced co-worker from the same office that night. They asked their server at dinner to recommend a non-touristy place for drinks, according to three individuals briefed on the inquiry.

They were directed to a bar with an Egyptian theme, a deejay and a dance floor. Both men later took women from the bar back to their hotel. The divorced colleague has been cleared in the incident, insisting that he told his guest to leave when she asked for money, although he faces minor administrative action.

The 29-year-old agent has told investigators a similar story: that he took two women to his room without realizing they were prostitutes. He maintained, under a polygraph exam, that he told the women to leave when they asked for money for sex, according to associates familiar with his account. He has withdrawn his resignation.

The Washington Post is not naming three of the agents who are fighting their ousters because their cases have not been resolved. Agency supervisor Greg Stokes, another employee recommended for termination and now pushing back against his punishment, has been named in previous reports.

One of those contesting his treatment was not originally under suspicion. That agent took a woman to a different hotel on another night and later came forward voluntarily to inform his bosses that he, too, had a sexual encounter.

The ramifications for that agent have been severe: His pregnant wife threatened to move out, his colleagues said. Like his peers, he was pressured to resign. He hired an attorney to determine whether he can fight for his job.

The morning after the carousing, the party ended for all when Huntington refused to pay Suarez and, she said, pushed her out of his room into the seventh-floor hallway, setting off the dispute that would lead to the exposure of the misconduct.

What none of the agents realized was the extent to which the Secret Service already had irritated the hotel manager, even before the hallway disturbance. The manager, according to people familiar with the investigation, was infuriated by the noise the agents made at the hotel bar and the inconvenience they caused other guests.

Outside the Hotel Caribe, Secret Service officers had repeatedly allowed their bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois shepherds to defecate on the lone grassy patch along the hotel’s beachfront property — directly in front of the hotel manager’s apartment. The manager did not respond to e-mails and phone messages seeking comment.

After Colombian police alerted the U.S. Embassy, a Secret Service official dispatched to the hotel to investigate found the manager waiting with a clipboard full of complaints and quick to provide names.

On the afternoon of April 12, Paula Reid, the special agent in charge of Miami and South America, conducted initial interviews with the 12 men in Cartagena. Sullivan later ordered all 12 flown home the following morning, just hours before Obama arrived.

But their accounts varied — much more widely than initially reported. Agency investigators concluded that nine of the 12 men paid or solicited prostitutes, but the agents now disputing the findings insist that the punishment outweighs their crimes.

One of the implicated men has told associates that a senior security supervisor had advised agents to follow loose guidelines when spending time with women they met on the road: One-night stands were permitted, this supervisor explained, as long as the relationships were cut off when the agents left the country.

Now, the agency is underscoring off-duty conduct more clearly.

“You should always assume you are being watched when on an official assignment,” a director responsible for the counterassault team warned in a memo to staff members last week. “Do not put yourself in a situation in your personal or professional life that would cause embarrassment to you, your family, or the Secret Service.”

The agency’s rush to judgment came as a shock to the Spanish-speaker, who asked his overnight guest to write a note to his superiors that he thought would clear his name.

“I voluntarily spent the night,” this woman wrote, according to a document reviewed by The Post. “He only gave me $12 to pay for my taxi. . . . It was a pleasure meeting [him] and before saying goodbye I gave him my e-mail address hoping to see him again.”

Only one agent was completely cleared, after proving that someone else had improperly used his name to register a female guest.

Staff writers Carlos Lozada and Joe Davidson and research editor Alice Crites contributed to this report.

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Not Just The Secret Service: US DEA Agents Under Investigation For Hiring Hookers In Columbia

May 21, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – A month after the Secret Service was rocked by allegations that agents brought prostitutes to a Colombia hotel where they were preparing for a visit by President Obama, the Drug Enforcement Administration today announced that at least three of its agents are also under investigation for allegedly hiring prostitutes in Cartagena.

Two of the agents allegedly had encounters with masseuses in the apartment of one of the agents, according to Sen. Susan Collins, the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“It’s disturbing that we may be uncovering a troubling culture that spans more than one law enforcement agency,” the Maine Republican said this evening. “In addition to the Secret Service scandal, we now learn that at least two DEA agents apparently entertained female foreign national masseuses in the Cartagena apartment of one of the agents. The evidence uncovered thus far indicates that this likely was not just a one-time incident.”

The revelations that Secret Service personnel had been drinking heavily and cavorting with prostitutes ahead of Obama’s trip to Colombia last month overshadowed the president’s trip to the Summit of the Americas. Twelve members of the military were also investgated for allegedly hiring prostitutes.

Eight of the 12 Secret Service employees implicated in the scandal lost their jobs, another is in the process of losing his security clearances, and three agents were cleared of serious misconduct but still could be disciplined. The military has completed its investigation but no disciplinary action has been carried out.

“The Drug Enforcement Administration was provided information from the Secret Service unrelated to the Cartagena hotel Secret Service incident, which DEA immediately followed up on, making DEA employees available to be interviewed by the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General,” a DEA spokesperson said in a statement.

“DEA takes allegations of misconduct very seriously and will take appropriate personnel action, if warranted, upon the conclusion of the OIG investigation.” the statement said.

A spokesman for the OIG said the DEA is cooperating in the investigation, which is being coordinated with the Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, and the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service.

The DEA has agents posted in Colombia to work on counter-narcotic and drug interdiction missions with Colombian authorities. According to officials the agents were among those assigned in Colombia, they were not specifically working on the President’s trip.

The revelations about the DEA agents comes ahead of a hearing scheduled on Wednesday with Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

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US Secret Service Agent’s Columbian Prostitute Begged For Hours To Be Paid – Agent Offered $27 After Receiving $800 In Services – Ending Up Paying Just $250 After Police Were Involved, Stiffing His Whore Out Of $550

May 4, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – One of the Colombian prostitutes involved in a sex scandal with US Secret Service agents broke her silence Friday to tell how she had begged for hours to be paid $800 for her services.

“I told him, there’s a problem here. Because if I had come with you to enjoy myself that would have been one thing. But I didn’t come to enjoy myself,” Dania Londono told Caracol Television and W radio. “I had to beg from 6:30 am to 10:00am for him to pay me.”

Londono told the television she had met the men when she was in a bar in Cartagena, Colombia, with three of her friends.

They drank two bottles of vodka with the men and danced and then they agreed to go back to their hotel rooms, but Londono insisted she had asked the man she was with to give her an $800 “gift” in return.

“We danced and when we left I said, ‘Well, love, you have to give me $800, that is the gift I want to go with you,'” she noted. “He said, ‘Okay, baby. Let’s go to the hotel.’

“Neither my friend nor I were aware that they were agents of Obama at all.”

She said the next morning when she asked for her money, he swore at her and offered her 50,000 pesos ($27) for a taxi fare. Eventually with the intervention of a local police officer, who was guarding the hotel corridor, she accepted $250.

The Secret Service has been scrambling to contain the scandal that originated in Colombia in mid-April when US President Barack Obama was visiting to attend the Summit of the Americas.

More than two dozen Secret Service agents and military personnel were sent home from Cartagena where they had been preparing security for Obama’s visit.

They were accused of drinking heavily, visiting a strip club and consorting with prostitutes, including bringing sex workers to their hotel rooms.

Eight agents have since been dismissed, the security clearance of one other has been permanently revoked, and three others have been cleared of major misconduct, according to the agency.

Investigations into the actions by the agents and some 12 military personnel are ongoing.

Londono dismissed the agents as “a bunch of fools… They are responsible for Obama’s security and they still let this happen… I could have done a thousand other things,” she said, according to a transcript on CNN.

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3 Of 12 Secret Service Agents Initially Investigated In Columbian Prostitution Scandal Refused Polygraph Tests, Got The Boot

May 2, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Three of the 12 Secret Service agents involved in the Colombia prostitution scandal refused to cooperate with authorities and submit to a polygraph test, according to House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, R-New York.

The three agents were among the first forced out of the service when news of the scandal in Cartagena broke, King told CNN late Tuesday. The nine remaining agents took the polygraph. And while none of them failed the test, some responses led to the loss of several jobs.

King received the information as a part of a response to 50 questions he sent to Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan on April 20. Sullivan submitted his answers to King on Tuesday.

While King did not send CNN copies of the responses — which he said are marked “law enforcement sensitive” — he highlighted several details.

Among other things, one agent said in the polygraph test that he was “actively engaged” with one of the prostitutes when he said she wanted to get paid, King said. In response, the agent threw her out of his room.

The agent told U.S. officials he didn’t realize the woman was a prostitute, and has not been fired.

U.S. officials have now interviewed 10 of the 12 women involved in the scandal, King noted. The Secret Service and Colombian authorities are currently trying to track down the remaining two.

King stressed what he called a “pleasant surprise” — Sullivan’s decision to call the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general before bringing the agents back from Colombia.

King said there weren’t many surprises in the responses to his questionnaire.

“Sullivan was giving us good information all along,” he told CNN.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Rep. Elijah Cummings, the panel’s ranking Democrat, have submitted another 10 questions to Sullivan, including a precise time line of exactly what happened in Cartagena.

The pair also sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta requesting details of a military investigation by May 8.

In their correspondence to Panetta, Issa and Cummings said security personnel showed an “alarming lack” of “character” and “judgment.”

The Homeland Security Department’s inspector general is currently investigating the scandal, in addition to four congressional committees as well as internal reviews by the agency, the military and the White House.

The top legislators on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said earlier Tuesday they’ve also sent a letter to Sullivan asking for information on the incident. A total of nine agents have resigned or are in the process of being forced out.

Three other Secret Service agents were cleared of serious misconduct, and the military is investigating the alleged involvement of 12 of its service members.

On Monday, the Homeland Security official announced his separate investigation of the incident, which embarrassed the government and raised questions of a possible security breach before President Barack Obama arrived for the Summit of the Americas.

The “field work is beginning immediately,” acting Inspector General Charles Edwards said in a statement.

The Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the controversy at a hearing last week. On Tuesday, Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and ranking Republican Sen. Susan Collins said they sent Sullivan a letter Monday that also sought answers about what happened.

“We wish to determine whether those events were indicative of a pattern of behavior by agents or officers of the Secret Service, and need to be addressed systemically, or if they instead constituted an isolated incident warranting action only with respect to the individuals involved,” said the letter from Lieberman and Collins.

The U.S. Southern Command expects to finish questioning the 12 military personnel implicated in possible wrongdoing this week before forwarding its findings to military lawyers for review, and then to Gen. Douglas Fraser, commanding general of the U.S. Southern Command, a Defense Department official said Monday.

Last week, the Secret Service distributed new rules for its agents on assignment intended to prevent a repeat of such alleged misconduct, according to two government sources familiar with the resulting investigation.

Enhanced Standards of Conduct, the new guidelines given to all Secret Service personnel, make clear that standards of behavior required in the United States apply on missions abroad, the sources said.

Effective immediately, the new standards require detailed briefings before each trip that will include safety precautions and any necessary designations of establishments and areas that are “off limits” for Secret Service personnel, the sources said.

Also in the new standards, foreigners are banned from Secret Service hotel rooms at all times, except for hotel staff and host nation law enforcement and government officials on official business, according to the officials, and all Secret Service personnel are prohibited from going to a “nonreputable establishment.”

The new standards specify that U.S. laws apply to Secret Service personnel when traveling, rendering invalid the excuse that specific activity is legal in the foreign country, the officials said.

In addition, the new guidelines allow moderate alcohol consumption when off duty, but prohibit alcohol consumption within 10 hours of reporting for duty or at any time when at the hotel where the protected official is staying, the officials explained.

An additional supervisor from the Office of Professional Responsibility will now accompany the “jump teams” that bring vehicles for motorcades and other transportation, the officials said. Agents involved in the Colombia incident were part of such a jump team.

Allegations of further transgressions by agents have emerged after the initial reports of heavy drinking and consorting with prostitutes last month before Obama arrived in Cartagena.

Recent claims include an account from El Salvador described by CNN affiliate Seatte TV station KIRO as very similar to the Colombia scandal, involving members of the Secret Service and other government agencies.

However, Panetta said last week that his department is not investigating any of its troops over the reported incident in El Salvador, while State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said embassy staff in El Salvador were being questioned about the allegations

The Drug Enforcement Administration also is prepared to look into, “in an appropriate manner and immediately,” allegations that it deems “credible” regarding its agents in El Salvador, agency spokesman Rusty Payne said. But he added that, while the DEA had seen news reports, “we are unaware of any allegations of misconduct.”

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Secret Service Agents Dropping Like Flies In Columbian Prostitution Scandal Investigation – Three More Down

April 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Two more Secret Service employees are leaving the agency over the Colombia prostitution scandal,while a third is appealing his planned removal, the Secret Service announced tonight.

The agency also said that two other employees have been cleared of wrongdoing, “and will face appropriate administrative action.”

In a statement, Assistant Director Paul S. Morrissey said two employees resigned, while “the Secret Service is moving to permanently revoke the security clearance of one other individual.

“The Federal Security Clearance process allows for an appeal associated with any permanent revocation,”‘ Morrissey said. “If the security clearance action is upheld, and the clearance is permanently revoked, this individual must separate from the Secret Service.”

That brings to nine the number of Secret Service officials who have resigned, retired, or been fired over allegations of bringing prostitutes to hotel rooms in Cartagena, Colombia.

The actions now account for all 12 agents initially implicated in the prostitution scandal. But U.S.Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said “the entire investigation is not over.”

King’s committee has requested detailed information about the Secret Service’s operation in Cartagena.

Up to a dozen members of the military also face discipline over the incident that took place just two days before President Obama arrived for the Summit of the Americans, April 13-15.

Today’s announcement came shortly after Obama defended the Secret Service, saying that the “knuckleheads” implicated in the scandal shouldn’t discredit the entire agency.

“The Secret Service, these guys are incredible,” Mr. Obama told talk show host Jimmy Fallon. “They protect me, they protect our girls — a couple of knuckleheads shouldn’t detract from that they do.”

Of the incident in Colombia, Obama said: “What they were thinking, I don’t know. That’s why they’re not there anymore.”

The Secret Service has investigated 12 of its employees over the incident.

Before today, six men had either resigned, retired, or been fired. Another has been cleared of serious wrongdoing, but faces administrative action.

Said Morrissey: “The Secret Service is committed to conducting a full, thorough and fair investigation in this matter, and will not hesitate to take appropriate action should any additional information come to light.”

Today’s announcement:

“The Secret Service’s investigation into allegations of misconduct by its employees in Cartagena, Colombia continues.

The Secret Service is prepared to announce actions regarding the remaining five employees of the twelve who were initially identified in this investigation.

To date, six employees have either resigned or left the agency, and a seventh has been cleared of serious misconduct, and will face appropriate administrative action. In addition to those actions:

— Two additional employees involved have been cleared of serious misconduct, and will face appropriate administrative action.

— Two more employees have chosen to resign.

— The Secret Service is moving to permanently revoke the security clearance of one other individual. The Federal Security Clearance process allows for an appeal associated with any permanent revocation. If the security clearance action is upheld, and the clearance is permanently revoked, this individual must separate from the Secret Service.

At this point, all twelve have either been cleared of serious misconduct, resigned, retired, been notified of personnel actions to permanently revoke their security clearances, or have been proposed for permanent removal for cause. The Secret Service is committed to conducting a full, thorough and fair investigation in this matter, and will not hesitate to take appropriate action should any additional information come to light.”

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Investigation Into US Secret Service Agents And Armed Services Members Use Of Whores In Columbia To Cost US Taxpayers At Least $1.6 Million

April 22, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The sex scandal involving call girls and President Obama’s bodyguards will cost US taxpayers the equivalent of £1 million, it was revealed last night.

A team of US investigators flew to Cartagena, Colombia, to launch a sweeping probe that has already cost tens of thousands of dollars.

The team is investigating allegations that a dozen US Secret Service agents and 11 military security men cavorted with as many as 20 prostitutes while they were preparing for the President to attend a trade summit last weekend.
Controversy: Bikini-clad working girl Dania Suarez is at the centre of the Secret Service prostitution scandal

Controversy: Bikini-clad working girl Dania Suarez is at the centre of the Secret Service prostitution scandal

One of the two Colombian women at the centre of the furore, which has so far cost six bodyguards their jobs, broke down in tears when she gave her account of the weekend.

Maria Camila, 22, who describes herself as a student, insisted that she is not a prostitute and was not paid by the bodyguard, who was staying at a beachfront resort, the Hotel Caribe.

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‘I didn’t talk with him about money,’ said Miss Camila. ‘My guy never touched me. He never gave me a kiss or anything.’

She said she struck up a conversation with 24-year-old Dania Suarez, who was with another Obama agent at a Cartagena disco. After ordering two bottles of vodka, the man agreed to pay Dania for sex, Miss Camila said.

Scandal: She admitted going back to the hotel with a second agent for what she described as ‘a platonic evening’

Scandal: She admitted going back to the hotel with a second agent for what she described as ‘a platonic evening’

She admitted going back to the hotel with a second agent for what she described as ‘a platonic evening’.

The next morning, a row erupted in the hotel corridors after Miss Suarez shouted that she was supposed to receive £500 for her services, including a pack of condoms. The agent paid her only £20, she claimed.

It is said Miss Suarez has admitted she was working as a prostitute to earn money for her nine-year-old son and a course at beauty school.

Experts have told The Mail on Sunday that the inquiry began because of fears that the two women may have been part of a large ring of prostitutes with ties to ‘terrorists’ attempting to infiltrate and sabotage President Obama’s security.

‘The lowest price tag for the investigation will be well over $1.6 million [£1 million],’ a Washington insider said.

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Supervisors In Secret Service Columbian WhoreGate Scandal Identified

April 19, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – One of the Secret Service supervisors who was forced out of the agency this week for his involvement in the Colombia prostitution scandal made light of his official protective work on his Facebook page, joking about a picture of himself standing watch behind Sarah Palin.

David Randall Chaney, 48, posted several action shots of himself on duty in a dark suit and sunglasses, including one that shows him behind the former Republican vice presidential nominee during her 2008 campaign.

“I was really checking her out, if you know what i mean?” Chaney wrote in the comments section, after friends had marveled at the photo. He is married and has an adult son.

Chaney, who had been a supervisor in the Secret Service’s international programs division, retired under pressure Wednesday, according to people familiar with an internal agency investigation into the allegations that 11 agents and uniformed officers had participated in a night of carousing April 11 ahead of President Obama’s visit to the Summit of the Americas.

He was one of two senior supervisors who are accused in the scandal, which investigators believe included heavy drinking, visits to a strip club and payments to women working as prostitutes. Several people familiar with the matter have identified the other supervisor as Greg Stokes, who was assistant special agent in charge of the K9 division. Stokes has been notified by agency officials that he will be fired, though he will be given an opportunity to contest the charges, those with knowledge of the case said.

The disclosure that two high-level managers were involved in the misconduct has raised questions of accountability and personal conduct in an agency whose top leadership has insisted that the Cartagena incident is an isolated and aberrant case, not a sign of a deeper cultural problem within the institution.

Chaney and Stokes have each worked at the Secret Service for nearly two decades, and both have served significant time with the presidential protection detail, people who know the men said. Both are based in Washington.

The supervisors were sent on the trip to supervise dozens of younger, less experienced agents who were part of the advance team preparing for Obama’s arrival.

Lawrence Berger, the general counsel for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and an attorney for Chaney and Stokes, declined to comment on details of the allegations involving his clients. He said the agency’s investigation is not complete for either man and stressed that any judgment about their roles in the scandal is “premature.”

“Its our ultimate position that nothing they may or may not have done in Colombia negatively impacted the efficiency of their mission,” Berger said. “Nothing that has been reported to have been done has impacted negatively their mission or the president’s visit.”

Capitol Hill lawmakers who have been briefed on the matter have said 21 men are suspected of bringing as many as 21 prostitutes to their rooms. Ten military members also have been accused of participating, along with the 11 Secret Service personnel.

The incident became public after one man got into a dispute over payment with a woman on the morning of April 12, drawing the attention of hotel staff and Colombian authorities who reported the matter to the U.S. Embassy.

The Secret Service recalled its 11 employees and replaced them with another team before Obama arrived April 13. All were placed on administrative leave and had their top-secret security clearances revoked.

The Secret Service announced Wednesday that three of the men were leaving the agency. The third man is a junior member of the team who has elected to voluntarily resign, those familiar with the investigation said.

Berger did not answer questions about his clients’ employment status.

“They have a passion for the agency’s mission,” he said. “They’ve both been doing it for over 17 or 18 years, day in and day out, and very well.”

On Thursday, Capitol Hill lawmakers who oversee the Homeland Security Department said they expected more resignations and firings in the case. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the 11 agents involved in the scandal had undergone drug tests and polygraph exams. Agency investigators in Colombia have visited all of the hotels where Secret Service personnel stayed and have interviewed each of the maids who cleaned rooms in the Hotel Caribe, King said.

People who know the two supervisors have described Chaney’s duties in the international programs division as supervising a department that provides support and administrative help to the Service’s foreign offices. Stokes has been described as the assistant special agent in charge of the K9 training division at the James J. Rowley Training Center in Beltsville.

Attempts to reach both men were unsuccessful. Calls made to Chaney’s home and cell phone and to Stokes’ home were not returned. No one answered the door when a reporter visited Chaney’s home in Northern Virginia. Outside , a silver 4×4 Ford pickup was parked, bearing stickers with a colorful outline of Texas, Chaney’s home state, and the word “SECEDE”.

A relative of Chaney’s said she would relay a message to him.

The commitment to the Secret Service runs deep in Chaney’s family. His father, George Washington Chaney, was a Secret Service agent in President Kennedy’s era, and knew the agents on his detail when Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

The elder Chaney had remarked to friends that he started at the service working “diaper duty,” where he watched President Dwight Eisenhower’s children and grandchildren in Gettysburg, Pa., and also met his wife. Later, he travelled to work in Dallas, where he was on President Lyndon Johnson’s protective detail. He also served a stint in the service’s El Paso office, and then became the agent in charge of personnel in the Washington D.C. headquarters, where he was working when Kennedy was shot.

He retired in 1977, and started a new line of work as a document examiner in Dallas, where he and his wife “Toddie” raised their five children.

On the younger Chaney’s Facebook page, he posted several action shots of himself with Palin.

In one picture, he is wearing a dark suit and sunglasses, standing near a black vehicle behind Palin as she approaches a crowd. In the comments section next to the photo, a friend remarked that Chaney appeared to be “lurking in the shadows” behind Palin.

Another kidded that there seemed to be “real chemistry” between the two.

Chaney posted : “I was really checking her out, if you know what i mean?”

Another friend asked if one of the buttons on Palin’s lapel was emblazoned with Chaney’s face.

“well if it was could you blame her, anything to satisfy a stalker,” Chaney wrote in his reply.

In another set of Facebook photos, Chaney documents a trip he took with his grown son to Egypt. One photo shows a voluptuous bellydancer in a revealing bikini-like top and tight, sequined skirt positioned between him and his son.

“Not in front of my son,” Chaney joked in the comments section.

One current agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation, said both Chaney and Stokes were respected, well-liked agents and supervisors, who were both quick to offer advice and mentor younger agents and officers.

“I was just completely shocked to hear they were involved,” the agent said.

Staff writer Ed O’Keefe and researchers Alice Crites and Lucy Shackelford contributed to this report.

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