A group of Secret Service agents sent to Colombia ahead of President Barack Obama were relieved of their duties and sent home amid allegations of misconduct that involved prostitution, according to CNN. About a dozen Secret Service members, including at least one supervisor, are being investigated over findings that they allegedly brought back several prostitutes to a hotel in Cartagena. None of the agents were part of Obama's personal protective detail.
The supervisor involved is allegedly from the Counter Terror Assault Team (CAT). A former Secret Service agent told CBS News about a "culture clash" between the president's protective detail and the CAT. CAT members have a history of "working hard and playing hard" while the protective services "are the most disciplined group of people."
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There was an argument between at least one Secret Service member and a woman he brought back to Hotel Caribe — home base to agents and international press during the Summit of the Americas — over payment for her services, reported CBS News. The woman complained to local police, and the incident was filed with the US Embassy.
Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovon said the matter was being turned over to the agency's internal affairs unit.
Soliciting prostitution is legal in Colombia, but it is considered a breach of the Secret Service's code of conduct. High-level officials in the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security were outraged over the incident, according to CNN. President Obama is not staying at that hotel, and there was no threat to him because of the agents' misconduct.