WASHINGTON - More than 18 months after a prostitution scandal in South America rocked the Secret Service, the agency in charge of protecting the president is investigating another case of suspected sexual misconduct in its ranks.
This time, two supervisory agents assigned to President Barack Obama's protective detail have been investigated for misconduct involving sexually suggestive emails sent to a female subordinate. The alleged misconduct does not appear to involve a breach of Obama's security.
According to The Washington Post, which first reported the inquiry Wednesday, supervisor Ignacio Zamora Jr. was reassigned. Timothy Barraclough, also a supervisor, remains with the presidential protection division.
The agency started investigating Zamora this spring after hotel staff at the upscale Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington notified the Secret Service that a bullet from Zamora's weapon was found in a hotel room, a federal law enforcement official said. The woman in the room identified Zamora as the agent who left the bullet, the official said. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the internal investigation.
A subsequent internal investigation uncovered the emails from Zamora and Barraclough, the official said.
The Secret Service said today that the agency investigates all allegations of misconduct and takes action when appropriate. The agency said neither agent would comment on the case.
News of the latest probe involving sexual misconduct prompted Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., to press acting Homeland Security Secretary Rand Beers about an internal report on the agency's culture during a hearing today.
Beers, who was testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on an unrelated topic, said he was expecting the report to be ready shortly.