Trick Or Treat: A Homeland Security Embarassment

Peter Maer is a White House correspondent for CBS News.

There's no way for the administration to mask red faces of outrage and embarrassment over a top Homeland Security official's role in an offensive Halloween incident.

Julie Myers, assistant secretary in charge of Immigration and Customs enforcement has apologized for awarding "most original costume" to a federal employee who dressed in prison stripes, dreadlocks and dark make-up for a Halloween celebration at the agency.

Myers was one of the judges who praised the costume. She even posed for a photo with the costumed worker, a picture snapped by a government photographer. In the apology e-mailed to employees, Myers said, "I and other the senior management of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) deeply regret that this happened." The Associated Press obtained a copy of the message.

The incident occurred last Wedesday but Homeland Security waited until today to tell the White House. Press Secretary Dana Perino said, "We do not tolerate inappropriate behavior." She declined to answer questions about potential discipline of Myers as the Homeland Security Department reviews the matter.

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    Peter Maer is a CBS News White House Correspondent.