Just over a year after the Secret Service was engulfed by a "hooker and blow" scandal, two of its agents have been removed from President Obama's security detail following an investigation into their alleged sexual misconduct.
The investigation was prompted by an incident last May at the Hay-Adams hotel in Washington DC. According to the Washington Post, Ignacio Zamora Jr., a senior supervisor in charge of more than 20 agents in the president's security detail, met a woman in the hotel's appropriately named Off the Record bar. The two went back to her room, where—for reasons that aren't clear—Zamora removed a single bullet from the chamber of his service weapon. Later that night, the agent realized he'd left behind the bullet and allegedly tried to force his way into the woman's room, even going so far as to request that hotel security let him in when the woman refused.
Once notified of the incident, the Secret Service launched an internal investigation into Zamora. In the process of that investigation, the agency searched Zamora's phone, discovering several sexually explicit messages to a female Secret Service agent, a subordinate. As the investigation grew, the agency learned that a second supervisor, Timothy Barraclough, also sent the female agent sexually suggestive emails.
The agency removed Zamora from his position, and Barraclough was moved to a detail in another division.
"We have always maintained that the Secret Service has a professional and dedicated workforce," Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said in a statement. "Periodically we have isolated incidents of misconduct, just like every organization does."
Last April, 12 Secret Service agents on President Obama's security detail were relieved from duty after participating in what was described as the "biggest scandal in Secret Service history": a cocaine-fueled sex party with prostitutes in a Colombian hotel.
[Image via AP]