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Secret Service Faces (More) Booze Shame

A long report listing alcohol-related arrests of personnel spells further trouble for the agency.

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Secret service agents on the job. Photo via

By May Wilkerson

06/19/12

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Does the US Secret Service have a bigger booze problem than we thought? A major scandal this past April—featuring prostitutes and fueled by alcohol—cast the culture of the agency in a pretty unflattering light. And now new reports of illicit behavior by personnel have surfaced—this time involving DUIs and other alcohol-related misconduct. The Department of Homeland Security has released a 229-page redacted document logging eight years' allegations—including over 40 incidents of off-duty arrests of agency personnel, around half of which involved booze. For example, one special agent was arrested in July 2006 for “resisting arrest, public intoxication and reckless damage.” And in 2007, an officer in the Secret Service’s White House branch was arrested for drunk driving. This past May, Secret Service director Mark Sullivan acknowledged that alcohol and environmental factors may have played a part in the recent sex scandal, while testifying before a Senate committee: "I can tell you that I do not think this is indicative of the overwhelming majority of our men and women…But I just think that between the alcohol, and I don’t know, the environment, these individuals did some really dumb things.” The new allegations will be investigated and handled in accordance with federal rules, with available sanctions ranging from a warning to suspension or dismissal, according to Max Millien, a spokesman for the Secret Service. As you might expect, he declines further comment.

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