Tags: Barack Obama | Homeland Security | drinking | senior | Secret Service | White House | drove

Secret Service Investigating Agents' Crash Near White House

Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 07:02 PM

The Homeland Security Department is investigating two senior Secret Service agents accused of crashing a car into a White House security barrier, an agency spokesman said Wednesday.

Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback said recently-appointed Director Joseph Clancy has been briefed on the March 4 incident. Clancy has asked the Homeland Security Department's Inspector General's Office to investigate the incident.

Hoback did not provide additional details.

The agency said the two agents have been reassigned to nonsupervisory, nonoperational jobs.

The Washington Post first reported the investigation Wednesday afternoon. The newspaper reported that the agents drove a government car into a security barrier near the White House after a night of drinking.

The Post reported that one of the agents involved is Mark Connolly, the second-in-command on President Barack Obama's security detail. The newspaper identified the other agent as George Ogilvie, a senior supervisor in the Washington field office.

The crash investigation is the latest embarrassment for the agency tasked with protecting the president.

In the last six months, several top agency officials, including former Director Julian Pierson, have been forced out amid revelations of multiple, serious presidential security breaches. In September, a Texas man armed with a knife was able to climb a White House fence and run deep into the executive mansion before being apprehended.

News of the accident prompted GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings to wonder whether the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee might expand its continuing investigation into the Secret Service.

"Although recent steps have been made to bring new leadership in at the highest levels, this incident begs the question of whether that is enough,” the congressmen said in a statement.

Chaffetz is the panel’s chairman and Cummings is the ranking Democrat.

"That this event involved senior-level agents is not only embarrassing but exhibits a clear lack of judgment in a potentially dangerous situation," the representatives said in a statement. "The committee as a whole remains committed to restoring the integrity of this elite agency and improving accountability at all staff levels."

An internal investigation and an outside panel report both described serious problems within the agency.

A four-member panel of former senior government officials concluded in a report released last year that the agency was too insular and starving for leadership.

The panel recommended an agency outsider to replace Pierson, but Obama earlier this year tapped Clancy, a retired agent who led the agency on an interim basis after Pierson's ouster.

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The Homeland Security Department is investigating two senior Secret Service agents accused of crashing a car into a White House security barrier, an agency spokesman said Wednesday.
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Wednesday, 11 Mar 2015 07:02 PM
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