Secret Service supervisor in prostitute scandal
Updated 3:50 p.m. ET
(CBS News) Members of the president's Secret Service detail, including a supervisor, are in what looks to be some pretty hot water.
At least one United States Secret Service agent is alleged to have sought the services of a prostitute in Cartagena, Colombia, where President Obama is visiting for the Summit of the Americas. CBS News has learned that one of the agents allegedly involved with the prostitute is a supervisor of the Counter Terror Assault Team (CAT).
An official with the Secret Service disputes that the agent tied to the situation is a supervisor or a member of CAT, which is responsible for advance planning and response and is not part of the president's protective detail.
A source in the Secret Service tells CBS News that one or more of the officers were involved with prostitutes and that there was a dispute over payment. One prostitute went to the police, who notified the State Department. The agents stayed at Hotel Caribe, where the international press is staying.
A former Secret Service agent said the American Embassy in Colombia directed the entire division of 12 to be sent back to the United States because it was an embarrassment for the president and the U.S. The team was replaced before the president's arrival in Colombia on Friday. The source also said that two of the men sent home were first level supervisors.
Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed the removal of personnel in a statement and said the agency is taking "allegations of misconduct seriously."
"There have been allegations of misconduct made against Secret Service personnel in Cartagena, Colombia prior to the president's trip. Because of this, those personnel are being relieved of their assignments, returned to their place of duty, and are being replaced by other Secret Service personnel," Donovan said.
The Secret Service spokesman said none of the changes will affect the comprehensive security plan prepared for the president's trip, and agency officials say this is not an operational deficiency but a "moral" one.
A former agent told CBS News that there is a "culture clash" between the president's protective detail and the CAT teams. CAT members have a history of "working hard and playing hard" while the protective services "are the most disciplined group of people." However, he noted that this is about "one guy" and is an "isolated incident.
Jon Adler, president of the association representing Secret Service agents, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, said "there's really not a culture clash" and it had "no bearing on this situation at all."
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