2 Secret Service supervisors investigated for sexual misconduct

Posted in Sexual Harassment on November 15, 2013

It is widely believed that officials at the very top of a given company set by example the behavioral and moral standards for the rest of the organization. Ethical leadership creates an ethical work environment and vice versa. 

If we were to look at the United States as a company, we might expect that the example to follow would be set by President Obama, his staff and other White House officials. Recently, the President’s staff has not been setting a good example. In fact, news outlets are reporting that two supervisors for the Secret Service on President Obama’s security detail are being investigated for “sexual misconduct” that could potentially be considered sexual harassment.

The Washington Post recently made inquiries into an incident in May that occurred at an upscale hotel near the White House. In that incident, a Secret Service agent reportedly met a female guest at the hotel bar and the two later went to her room. He somehow left a single bullet behind, and demanded that hotel staff let him into the room in order to retrieve it.

That agent is a supervisor. During an internal investigation launched as a result of the Post’s inquiries, investigators searched the supervisor’s BlackBerry smartphone, which was agency-issued equipment. The investigation revealed that he and another supervisor had sent “sexually suggestive emails to a female Secret Service employee.”

It is unclear if there are any other allegations of sexual misconduct related to the investigation, but news sources say the first supervisor has been removed from his position. Many readers will also remember that Secret Service members were implicated last year in a prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia.

Commenting on the most recent allegations, one U.S. senator said: “Yesterday we learned that two senior level United States Secret Service agents assigned to the President’s detail were recently disciplined for sexual misconduct . . .This type of behavior jeopardizes the security of the President of the United States and makes U.S. government personnel susceptible to coercion and blackmail.”

Such alleged conduct also sends the disheartening message that sexual harassment seems to exist everywhere; even at the highest levels of government service.


Source: CNN, “2 Secret Service supervisors under investigation in misconduct probe,” Nov. 15, 2013