Friday, January 19, 2018

Secret Service agent kills self amid investigation of affair

WASHINGTON — A senior Secret Service agent being investigated by the government for failing to disclose a long-standing relationship with a foreign citizen killed himself last week in Washington, people familiar with the matter told the Associated Press.

Rafael Prieto, 47, a married father assigned to the security detail for President Barack Obama, had acknowledged to U.S. investigators that he had been having an affair for years with a woman from Mexico, the sources said. Prieto's relationship was revealed to Secret Service investigators by an agent who had been entangled in the Colombian prostitution scandal earlier this year, these people say. That agent was concerned that the Secret Service wasn't enforcing its rules consistently.

Secret Service rules require that employees with a security clearance notify the agency about any relationship with a foreign citizen to ensure that the person is not a risk to national security. There is no evidence that Prieto's relationship posed any security threat. Failing to disclose such a relationship would be a violation of the agency's administrative rules, not a crime.

An agent for 22 years, he was serving on the protective detail for Obama, though he was not on duty at the time of his suicide. As recently as 2009, he was the resident agent in charge at the Secret Service's office in White Plains, N.Y.

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