Secret Service scandal widens to US military
BY Associated Press
Sunday, April 15, 2012
4/15/12 at 7:26 AM
An embarrassing scandal involving prostitutes and Secret Service agents widened Saturday when the U.S. military confirmed five service members staying at the same hotel in Colombia may have been involved in misconduct as well.
The Secret Service replaced and sent home about a dozen Secret Service agents for misconduct that occurred at Cartagena's five-star Hotel Caribe before President Barack Obama's arrival in Colombia on Friday; The Associated Press confirmed that the behavior in question involved prostitutes.
Another bolt came Saturday when the U.S. Southern Command said five service members assigned to support the Secret Service violated their curfew and may have been involved in inappropriate conduct. The military members remained in Colombia confined to their quarters.
Put together, the allegations were an embarrassment for an American president on foreign soil.
Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told the AP after he was briefed on the investigation on Saturday that "close to" all 11 of the agents involved had brought women back to their rooms at a hotel separate from where Obama is now staying.
The New York Republican said the women were "presumed to be prostitutes" but investigators were interviewing the agents.
King said he was told that anyone visiting the hotel overnight was required to leave identification at the front desk and leave the hotel by 7 a.m. When a woman failed to do so, it raised questions among hotel staff and police, who investigated. They found the woman with the agent in the hotel room and a dispute arose over whether the agent should have paid her.
King said he was told that the agent did eventually pay the woman.
A hotel employee, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the agents arrived at the beachfront hotel about a week ago and left the hotel Thursday.
Three waiters interviewed by the AP at the hotel described the agents as drinking heavily during their stay.
Original Print Headline: Secret Service prostitute scandal involves military