U.S. President Barack Obama is surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents as he arrives at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado, April 24, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Larry Downing)
Two U.S. Secret Service officers are under investigation and have been demoted from President Barack Obama's security detail after being accused of sexual misconduct.
A Secret Service supervisor was removed from Obama's detail after being accused of leaving a bullet in a woman's room at a luxury hotel near the White House back in June, senior federal law enforcement officials said Wednesday according to the New York Times.
Ignacio Zamora Jr., the former supervisor who was responsible for about two dozen agents, is still under investigation and has not yet been formally disciplined, the officials said. Zamora was allegedly discovered trying to re-enter the room of a woman he had met in the at the Hay-Adams Hotel bar after accidentally leaving a bullet from his service weapon in her hotel room.
According to the Washington Post, a Secret Service review discovered that the woman refused to let him back in so Zamora sought access from hotel staff who notified the White House. During the probe, investigators found that Zamora and another supervisor named Timothy Barraclough had sent a female subordinate sexually suggestive emails. Subsequently, Zamora has been pulled from his position, while Barraclough has been moved off the detail to a separate part of the division, according to the Post.
The incident came a year after the agency members were involved ina prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, prompting senior officials to curb a male-dominated culture of partying and sex.
In March, Obama named veteran Secret Service agent Julia Pierson as the agency's first female director to signal his desire to change the culture at the service and restore confidence in its operations.