Sunday, December 17, 2017

Secret Service chief to testify on Colombia scandal

WASHINGTON — The director of the Secret Service will be called before a Senate committee May 23 to provide details about the investigation into the Colombia prostitution scandal that has resulted in the dismissal of nine employees.

Director Mark Sullivan has not spoken publicly on the misconduct that took place last month in Cartagena, Colombia, where a dozen agents were implicated in a night of heavy carousing two days before President Barack Obama arrived for an international summit.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, announced the hearing Sunday during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union." Charles K. Edwards, the acting inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, who is conducting an independent investigation, also will be called to testify, Lieberman said.

The senator said he would seek to determine whether there were warning signs that the scandal could occur and what steps Sullivan is taking to ensure that similar misconduct will not happen again.

"So this is really a heartbreaking incident, and really a dangerous incident, and we really have got to make sure it never does happen again," Lieberman said on the CNN show.

A dozen Secret Service employees were implicated in a night of partying April 11 that included heavy drinking, visits to a strip club and payments to prostitutes. In the wake of the scandal, the agency dismissed nine employees and has subjected three to demotion or disciplinary action.

Sullivan also imposed stricter rules for foreign trips, including more, higher-ranking chaperones and a ban on foreign nationals in the hotel rooms of Secret Service employees. The agency also has begun a series of mandatory training sessions to explain the rules to agents and officers.

Some current and former agents have said the Secret Service tolerated heavy drinking and liaisons between agents and foreign women during road trips for years. However, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said on CNN that he does not believe the behavior was part of the agency's culture.

"I believe this was the exception. I don't believe it was tolerated," King said.

Comments
Fresh off victory, Doug Jones spends weekend in Key West

Fresh off victory, Doug Jones spends weekend in Key West

Alabama Senator-elect Doug Jones was spotted in Key West over the weekend, celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary and catching a Jimmy Buffett performance.A source told Politico that the Jones and his wife, Louise, showed up at Buffett's Margaritav...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Prosecutors oppose ex-congresswoman’s fraud sentence appeal

Prosecutors oppose ex-congresswoman’s fraud sentence appeal

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Federal prosecutors are opposing ex-U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown's request to remain free on bond while she appeals her fraud sentence.Acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow filed the motion Sunday in U.S. District Court.Sevent...
Updated: 1 hour ago
'The Last Jedi' opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

'The Last Jedi' opens with $220M, 2nd best weekend all-time

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" rocketed to a debut of $220 million at the box office, landing the second-best opening weekend ever in North America and slotting in behind only its predecessor, "The Force Awakens."
Updated: 3 minutes ago

Kiradech Aphibarnrat among 9 players projected into Masters

Kiradech Aphibarnrat among 9 players projected to finish year in top 50 to earn invitations to Masters
Updated: 6 minutes ago

Mississippi shipyard gets initial $63M to repair destroyer

The U.S. Navy has awarded an initial $63 million contract to a Mississippi shipyard to repair a damaged destroyer
Updated: 7 minutes ago

MSNBC paid woman who said Chris Matthews harassed her

An MSNBC spokesman has confirmed a report saying a news channel staffer had been paid and left the job after complaining she was sexually harassed by 'Hardball' host Chris Matthews in 1999.
Updated: 9 minutes ago

AP Top News at 3:33 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 3:33 p.m. EST
Updated: 9 minutes ago

Macron: Talk to Assad now, he will answer for crimes later

French President Emmanuel Macron says he thinks the Islamic State group will be defeated in Syria by mid-February and that Syrian President Bashar Assad can't be ignored _ but must one day answer for his crimes
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Shepard scores 39, No. 2 Notre Dame women beat DePaul 91-82

Shepard scores 39, No. 2 Notre Dame women beat DePaul 91-82

Jessica Shepard scored a career-high 39 points as No. 2 Notre Dame withstood a 3-point barrage by DePaul for a 91-82 victory
Updated: 12 minutes ago

Clareth, Penn lead Siena past Bryant 87-68

Nico Clareth scored 19 points, Roman Penn had 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals, and Siena made a season-high 12 3-pointers in a 87-68 victory over Bryant
Updated: 14 minutes ago