Secret Service Agent Announces Retirement Amid Misconduct Investigation
Secret Service Agent Announces Retirement Amid Misconduct Investigation © Flickr/ Stephen Rees
04:08 14.05.2015(updated 08:07 14.05.2015) Get short URL
The No. 2 Secret Service Agent on President Obama’s detail has retired amid an investigation into his conduct during a White House bomb threat probe, according to officials.
Marc Connolly has reportedly notified the Secret Service that he plans to retire, making the decision just before the public release of a report that concluded that he and his colleague George Ogilvie were likely under the influence on the night of March 4.
On that night, the two agents drove into a temporary barricade around an active crime scene, inches away from a suspicious package other Service agents had cordoned off. According to officials familiar with the investigation, the report found Connolly and Ogilvie had spent five hours at a downtown bar prior to returning to the White House.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the officials also said that other Secret Service agents on duty that night believed that one or both men were under the influence due to their odd behavior. Some agents reported smelling alcohol.
The findings prompted Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy to place both men on administrative leave pending further punishment.
“I am disappointed and disturbed at the apparent lack of judgement described in this report,” Clancy said in a statement to the Washington Post. “Behavior of this type described in the report is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Connolly and Ogilvie’s attorney Larry Berger said he has not yet seen the report, however he noted that it would be “wholly irresponsible and inaccurate” to conclude that the agents were intoxicated.
The investigation additionally found that a number of high-ranking Secret Service agents had not disclosed the incident after it happened and omitted it from a daily report submitted to Clancy. The omission left the Service’s director in the dark for five days until, eventually, a retired agent informed him on March 9.
Issued by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general, the report is scheduled to be released on Thursday.
Prior to announcing his retirement, Clancy has said that Connolly’s actions warrant a penalty. Meanwhile, officials are considering disciplinary measures against Ogilvie.
Clancy, who was appointed as acting director of the Secret Service after a White House breach in September, has said that he wants to restore the agency’s reputation after a series of embarrassing mishaps.