The U.S. Secret Service has suspended two of the members of the presidential protection detail and is investigating their alleged transgressions in a hotel near the White House, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The suspensions were made about 18 months after members of the presidential protection detail became involved in a party with prostitutes in a hotel in Cartagena, Colombia, one day before President Barack Obama arrived in that city to attend the April 2012 Summit of the Americas.
Seven months ago, the Secret Service designated Julia Pierson as the first woman to head the agency and it is expected that the report of the internal investigation of the Cartagena incident will be released in the coming weeks.
In May, the Post said, a complaint was made that a Secret Service agent had tried to get into the room of a woman in the Hay-Adams hotel, which is very close to the White House.
Involved in the incident, according to the daily, citing people familiar with the case, was Ignacio Zamora Jr., a top-level supervisor in charge of two dozen presidential protection detail agents.
Zamora "was allegedly discovered attempting to re-enter a woman's room (at a Washington hotel) after accidentally leaving behind a bullet from his service weapon," the article said.
"In a follow-up investigation, agency officials also found that Zamora and another supervisor, Timothy Barraclough, had sent sexually suggestive e-mails to a female subordinate, according to those with knowledge of the case," the Post said.
Zamora was removed from the detail and Barraclough was transferred to another section, according to Post sources.
The daily added that Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan had refused to comment on the incident.
The Secret Service, which now is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, has some 6,200 employees and an annual budget of $1.9 billion. EFE