"Very disturbing" charges vs. Secret Service supervisor

Apr 9, 2015 11:08 AM by News Staff

WASHINGTON -- The Secret Service has placed a high-ranking supervisor on administrative leave and suspended the supervisor's security clearance after what it called "allegations of misconduct and potential criminal activity."

Spokesman Brian Leary said Wednesday that the incident was first reported to the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility on April 2, after which inspectors conducted corroborative interviews. Director Joseph Clancy was informed the same day, and the employee was placed on leave.

Leary said the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general is now investigating the incident.

The spokesman would not provide details of the allegations, but said the Secret Service takes them "extremely seriously."

In a statement provided to CBS News, Clancy said, "The Secret Service is an agency that demands that our employees conduct themselves with the highest level of integrity. These allegations as reported are very disturbing. Any threats or violence that endangers our employees in the workplace is unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

The agent in question was reportedly one of the first officials Clancy promoted when he took control of the department in October, notes CBS News correspondent Bill Plante.

New leadership was supposed to clean up the Secret Service but if true, these accusations only add to other allegations of misconduct, Plante says.

The Washington Post reports that "a female employee accused the supervisor of assaulting her after-hours at agency headquarters last week."

The Post says she alleges "that Xavier Morales, a manager in the security clearance division, made unwanted sexual advances and grabbed her on the night of March 31 after they returned to the office from a party at a downtown restaurant, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the probe."

The newspaper cites two people briefed on her complaint as saying she alleges that, in the office after the party, "Morales tried to kiss her and grabbed her arms when she resisted. ... The woman alleged that the two scuffled until Morales relented."

The Post says Morales, through an agency spokesperson, declined to comment.

The alleged incident is the latest black eye for the agency assigned to protect the nation's president and his family.

The inspector general is already investigating a March 4 episode in which two high-ranking agency officials are accused of driving into a secure area at the White House without authorization.

The House Oversight Committee is also trying to get to the bottom of allegations that those agents had been drinking when they drove into the area. The agents were accused of nudging a construction barrier with their vehicle as they intruded during an investigation of a suspicious item.

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