Secret Service Chief: Obama Agent's Drunken Night Was One-Off

The boozy incident in which a Secret Service agent in charge of protecting President Obama was found intoxicated and passed out in a Dutch hotel hallway was "isolated," Secret Service Director Julia Pierson said Tuesday.

Pierson told senators from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that she has "made clear to the entire workforce that I will not tolerate unprofessional behavior or misconduct at any level — both on and off duty."

Pierson, and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, met with the lawmakers to talk about the incident that saw three agents sent home last month.


"I remain committed to swiftly and vigorously addressing any instances of misconduct that are brought to my attention and have instructed my senior staff to do the same," she said in a written statement to the lawmakers. "In addition to instituting and clearly communicating a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to misconduct, I recognize the need to put equal weight on continuously improving our human capital policies and practices."

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, she added: "This is isolated incidents of misconduct and we are working to correct that every day."

Pierson was appointed director last year after then-Director Mark Sullivan retired almost a year after a South American prostitution scandal made world-wide headlines.

Thirteen agents and officers were accused of partying with female foreign citizens at a hotel in the seaside resort of Cartagena, Colombia, where they were staying before President Barack Obama's arrival for a Latin American summit.

Image: United States Secret Service director Julia Pierson
United States Secret Service director Julia Pierson and Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del., leave a committee hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Cliff Owen / AP

Weeks before the incident in the Netherlands two agents in Florida were involved in a traffic accident that The Washington Post reported involved alcohol. Neither of the agents in that case was charged by local police.

The Associated Press