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US Secret Service dumping senior officials after security lapses

Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 06:35
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Members of the Uniformed Division of the US Secret Service stand on duty in front White House on Nov 19, 2014.

[WASHINGTON] The US Secret Service will remove four senior officials while another has opted to retire from the agency charged with protecting the president in its latest shake-up after a series of security lapses, an agency official said on Wednesday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Acting Director Joseph Clancy on Tuesday told the four assistant directors who oversee the agency's missions of protection, investigations, technology and public affairs that they must leave their jobs. "Four assistant directors have been notified that they're being assigned to other positions," the official said.

The recent lapses by the agency include allowing a knife-carrying man to jump a fence and run into the White House in September in one of the worst security breaches since President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

Clancy told Congress in November he was seeking to establish a culture of trust within the Secret Service after replacing Julia Pierson, who resigned under fire as agency director on Oct. 1.

The assistant director in charge of Secret Service training, who also headed Obama's protective detail, disclosed in recent weeks that he was retiring. "Change is necessary to gain a fresh perspective on how we conduct business," Clancy said in a statement published by the Washington Post. "I am certain any of our senior executives will be productive and valued assets either in other positions at the Secret Service or the department."

REUTERS