Mike Rogers: Secret Service might need a leadership change

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said the latest news about misconduct at the Secret Service is evidence of a larger "leadership failure" at the agency and may indicate the need for a larger personnel shift among top staff there.

The Washington Post reported over the weekend that members of the Secret Service unit responsible for guarding the White House perimeter were diverted from their usual posts for roughly two months in 2011 to protect the assistant of the agency's then-Director Mark Sullivan.

Sullivan was concerned that his assistant, Lisa Chopey, was being harassed by a neighbor, and sent agents to keep watch at her home in La Plata, Maryland, about an hour outside of D.C.

"This is just one of those black marks that make you scratch your head. You have to ask if there is a leadership culture that needs to be ripped out at the Secret Service," Rogers said in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.

"This is just one more example of a leadership failure at the Secret Service," Rogers added. "When you have someone removed from a post whose primary responsibility is to protect the president, and the White House and its occupants, that is very, very concerning."

The Michigan congressman, who also chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said he was particularly concerned about the potential role of current Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, who was Sullivan's chief of staff during the incident. A Secret Service official told the Post that Pierson was unaware of the operation.

"They're going to have some explaining to do. And maybe they've got great explanations. But they're going to have to come up and explain. And if they can't get this piece right I think you're going to have to look at a cultural leadership shift in the Secret Service," Rogers said.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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