“We have had employees that have engaged in misconduct,” the official said. “People make mistakes.”
He said it’s to be expected, given the 147-year history of the Secret Service.
The official’s comments come amid new reports of misconduct by Secret Service personnel. A day after U.S. lawmakers were briefed regarding the recent scandal in Colombia involving Secret Service members, a new report emerged alleging overdue library books, this time in El Paso, TX.
An unnamed librarian, who worked extensively with the Secret Service advance team in El Paso prior to President Barack Obama’s trip there in May, 2011, contacted government investigators to provide the information.
The source said she was with about a dozen Secret Service agents and a few U.S. military specialists at a small branch library in the city a few days before Obama arrived.
The men checked out more items, including DVDs and CDs, than the library allows as a rule, and kept the materials out “significantly longer than is appropriate” the source said.
Library records obtained by The Daily Quarterly confirmed the source’s claim that a large number of agents, and some military escorts, “descended on the library” that week and were there at least three days in a row.
The librarian source said she told the agents it was a “really bad idea” to keep the materials out longer than library policy, but several agents bragged that they “did this all the time” and “not to worry about it.”
Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan said, “The recent investigation in Cartagena (Colombia) has generated several news stories that contain allegations by mostly unnamed sources. Any information brought to our attention that can be assessed as credible will be followed up on in an appropriate manner.”
Sen. John Cornyn, (R-Texas), who serves on the Judiciary Committee, which was briefed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet “Viva” Napolitano on the Colombia scandal last week, said he was concerned and deeply saddened about the new El Paso allegations.
“It does concern me, and that’s why we need a thorough investigation, not just by the White House, not just by the (Department of Homeland Security), but by Congress,” said Cornyn.