The Slatest

Secret Service Shakeup Purges Senior Management After High Profile Missteps

A Secret Service Agent protecting President Obama’s armored limo.

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

After a series of high profile blunders led to the resignation of the director of the Secret Service in October, on Wednesday the agency announced a broader management overhaul with the demotion of four of its most senior executives.

“Acting Director Joseph P. Clancy on Tuesday informed the four assistant directors who oversee the Secret Service’s core missions of protection, investigations, technology and public affairs that they must leave their leadership positions,” the Washington Post reports. “The departures would gut much of the Secret Service’s upper management, which has been criticized by lawmakers and administration officials in recent months for fostering a culture of distrust between agency leaders and its rank-and-file, and for making poor decisions that helped erode quality.”

“Change is necessary to gain a fresh perspective on how we conduct business,” Clancey said.

The move comes after a particularly embarrassing stretch for the normally seen, but not heard Secret Service. Sex scandals, including agents paying for prostitutes on a trip to Colombia, were embarrassing and raised questions about how the agency was being run, but the utter failing of the protective detail to stop an armed intruder from entering the White House appeared to be the final straw. A Department of Homeland Security review of the Secret Service in November detailed a comedy of errors revealing an agency in desperate need of reform.

The Associated Press reports the officials being forced out are: “Dale Pupillo, who led protective operations; Paul Morrissey, who oversaw the agency’s investigative mission; Jane Murphy, who was governmental and public affairs chief; and Mark Copanzzi, who headed up technology and the tools for mission support.”