Four senior officials within the US Secret Service are being removed from service while another official has opted to take retirement following news of security lapses within the service.
According to officials at the agency, there have been a series of security lapses from the Secret Service, the entity charged with the protection of the US president.
A report by Reuters saw the news agency speaking directly a member of the Secret Service on the condition of anonymity.
According to Reuters, the source confirmed Acting Director Joseph Clancy had told the four assistant directors who oversee the agency’s missions of protection, investigations, technology and public affairs that they must leave their jobs.
The report added that the departures represent a house-cleaning within top management. “Four assistant directors have been notified that they’re being assigned to other positions,” the official said.
There have been some very public failings of the Secret Service in recent months, including allowing a knife-carrying man to jump a fence and run into the White House last September in one of the worst security breaches since President Barack Obama took office in 2009.
Acting Director Joseph Clancy told Congress back in November that he was seeking to establish and forma culture of trust after he replaced Julia Pierson, who resigned under fire as agency director on Oct. 1.
According to Reuters, the assistant director in charge of Secret Service training, who also headed Obama’s protective detail, disclosed in recent weeks that he was retiring.
“Change is necessary to gain a fresh perspective on how we conduct business,” Clancy said in a statement. “I am certain any of our senior executives will be productive and valued assets either in other positions at the Secret Service or the (homeland security) department.”
There have been a number of incidents that have worked to tarnish the reputation of the Secret Service in the US.
According to Reuters, in 2012, Secret Service agents sent to Colombia to prepare for Obama’s arrival at a summit meeting capped a night of partying at strip clubs by taking several prostitutes back to their hotel.
Last March in Amsterdam, a Secret Service agent was found passed out drunk in an the hall of a hotel, where he was helping prepare for an Obama visit.
In 2011, after an Idaho man opened fire on the White House with a semi-automatic rifle from the street, no one realized the building had been hit by seven bullets until four days later when a housekeeper found a broken window and piece of concrete on a balcony.