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Secret Service Manager Placed on Leave After Allegation of Sexual Advances

Mark Morales was accused by a female agent of making unwanted advances to her after a party on March 31. Morales was placed on administrative leave.
/ Source: NBC News

The U.S. Secret Service has placed a senior supervisor on leave after he was accused of making unwanted sexual advances to a female coworker late last month, a source familiar with the investigation confirmed to NBC News.

The allegation against Xavier Morales is the latest scandal to blemish the battered reputation of the security service for the president, vice president and other senior officials. The agency has been rocked by security breaches and accusations of drunken driving since last year.

The Washington Post first reported the allegations that Morales grabbed the female agent’s arm and said he wanted to have sex with her after a party on March 31. Morales is the woman’s boss, the paper reported.

A Secret Service spokesman told NBC News the female agent complained about the alleged behavior to the U.S.S.S. Office of Professional Responsibility on April 2, and Secret Service Director Joseph P. Clancy was briefed that afternoon.

Morales was placed on administrative leave and had his security clearance suspended that same day, the spokesman said. Morales is a manager in the security clearance division and was slated to head the Secret Service's field office in Louisville.

The investigation is being headed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General because of Morale’s senior rank. The Washington, D.C., police sex-crimes unit is also investigating, officials said.

"The Secret Service is an agency that demands that our employees conduct themselves with the highest level of integrity,” Clancy said in a statement. “These allegations as reported are very disturbing. Any threats or violence that endangers our employees in the workplace is unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

Clancy took over the agency after its former director, Julia Pierson, resigned after an intruder armed with a knife was able to scale a White House fence and make it all the way to the East Room on Sept. 19. A Homeland Security review of the incident found a string of failures led to the intrusion.

More recently, the agency came under fire after two Secret Service agents were allegedly drunk when they drove a government car near the scene of an investigation into a suspicious package near the White House on March 4.


— Kristen Welker