Secret Service director Mark Sullivan to retire

Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan attends the National Peace Officers Memorial Service May 15, 2012, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
AFP/Getty Images

Officials confirmed Friday that Director of the U.S. Secret Service Mark Sullivan is retiring, as first reported by CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton.

Sullivan was an agent for more than 30 years has been USSS director for the last seven years serving under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Sullivan sent an internal memo to his staff Friday thanking them for their dedication and saying that it has been a privilege to serve beside them these past three decades, Milton reports.

Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano thanked him for his long career and contributions.

"Mark Sullivan epitomizes the term 'public service,' and has devoted his life to the safety of our First Families, our nation's leaders, and the public at large," she said in a statement.

A native of Massachusetts, Sullivan began his career as a special agent assigned to the Detroit Field Office in 1983, after spending three years as a special agent to the inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The end of his 29-year tenure with the Secret Service was marked with controversy. He oversaw the investigation into last year's Colombia sex scandal, in which agents and U.S. military personnel allegedly engaged with Colombian prostitutes in Cartagena ahead of the president's visit for the Summit of the Americas. Sullivan apologized for the conduct of Secret Service employees before Congress.

Napolitano said his accomplishments included initiating the Former Presidents Protection Act, which amends the federal criminal code to allow longer Secret Service protection for former presidents and their spouses and children. He earned the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award in 2005 and 2010.

  • Pat Milton

    Pat Milton is a CBS News investigative producer