Wednesday, October 1, 2014

US: Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns, President Obama Thanks Pierson for Her 30 Years' Service

According to Yahoo News, US Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, appointed to fix the embattled agency in the wake of a scandal in which agents consorted with prostitutes in Colombia, has resigned, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced Wednesday (October 1).

Pierson “offered her resignation, and I accepted it,” Johnson said in a statement. “I salute her 30 years of distinguished service to the Secret Service and the Nation.” She was the agency's first woman director.

At the White House, press secretary Josh Earnest said President Obama had telephoned Pierson to thank her for her service.

"Over the last several days, we’ve seen recent and accumulating reports raising questions about the performance of the agency," Earnest told reporters. "The President concluded that new leadership of that agency was required."

COMMENT: Homeland Security Secretary Johnson said he had appointed retired Secret Service agent Joseph Clancy, former head of the Presidential Protective Division of the Secret Service, to lead the agency.

Earnest praised Clancy as the right choice, stressing that he has the "full confidence of the President and the First Lady."

Secretary Johnson said he had decided that “a distinguished panel of independent experts” should look into the September 19 incident in which a man armed with a knife scaled the White House fence and got deep into the presidential mansion before being stopped.

“The panelists will be named shortly. By December 15, 2014, this panel will submit to me its own assessment and recommendations concerning security of the White House compound,” Johnson said. “I will also invite the panel to submit to me recommendations for potential new directors of the Secret Service, to include recommendations of individuals who come from outside the Secret Service.”

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