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Ex-Agent: DEA Scandal 'Handled Totally Inappropriately'

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 02:56 PM

Former Drug Enforcement Administration agent Steve Peterson says he thinks the prostitution scandal rocking the DEA is "being handled totally inappropriately," leading the agency's administrator to resign.

"The administrator obviously is a pretty important component of the DEA, and as much as we realize they come and go, I hate to see it happen this way among the scandal that is actually quite old," Peterson told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV on Wednesday. 

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According to a report from the Justice Department, DEA agents on missions in Colombia allegedly took part in wild sex parties, which included prostitutes that were funded by local drug cartels, between 2001 and 2005. Seven agents say they attended the sex parties, and they were disciplined with two- to 10-day suspensions. The report says the violations were often withheld from those up the chain of command.

"Here's the problem — this occurred over 10 years ago, and at the time, what people don't realize is that the Office of Inspector General, OIG, has the right of first refusal," Peterson explained.

"They have the opportunity to accept any investigation regarding this type of conduct first. They refused to do it, to accept it," he said. "So, DEA did it internally," initially.

"I will totally be honest, and say it was handled completely improperly, but it was handled," he added.

Peterson said, "People were punished, there was discipline doled out, perhaps not appropriately, but most of the people in high-ranking positions down in South America at the time have since retired and gone on to fairly lucrative positions within a private sector.

"How do you go back now and try to admonish the people who were involved at a lower level when this kind of thing was accepted by people at a higher level who were also there at the time?"

"Sadly, it was handled poorly, and as you can see, it resulted in gas on the fire," he added.

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that DEA administrator Michele Leonhart will step down sometime in May.

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Former Drug Enforcement Administration agent Steve Peterson says he thinks the prostitution scandal rocking the DEA is "being handled totally inappropriately," leading the agency's administrator to resign.
Steve Peterson, agent, scandal, dea
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2015-56-22
Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 02:56 PM
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