Agents David Randal Chaney and Greg Stokes have been fired this week after allegations were made that 11 agents and uniformed officers had spent a night partying with prostitutes on the night of April 11 as they awaited President Obama’s arrival in Cartagena for the Summit of the Americas.
According to people familiar with the investigation, Chaney retired under pressure on Wednesday after it was alleged that a group of Secret Service and U.S. military personnel had taken 21 prostitutes back to a Cartagena hotel after a night of heavy drinking, visits to a strip club, and disputes over the payment of women working as prostitutes.
A look at Chaney’s Facebook page revealed that this was not the first time Chaney had made light of his official duties. Under a picture of himself standing behind the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, the disgraced agent had joked, “I was really checking her out, if you know what i mean? Chaney is married and has an adult son.
The second supervisor has been identified as special agent Greg Stokes, the head of the Secret Service’s canine division. According to the newspaper, although Stokes can appeal the charges, he has been notified by officials that he will be fired.
Both Chaney and Stokes had worked for the Secret Service for almost two decades. While representatives of the Secret Service claim that this was an isolated case, the fact that two high-level managers were involved has lead many to ask whether this incident signifies a deeper cultural problem within the institution.
The Secret Service has an operating budget of about $1.5 billion dollars with 3,500 agents and 1,400 other uniformed officers. Its mission is to protect senior U.S. officials. In 2011 its agents participated in more than 5,600 trips inside the U.S. and about 400 trips abroad.