The U.S. Secret Service has released a statement following reports two officers are being investigated for alleged misconduct.
The investigation stems from an incident during the spring at the Hay-Adams Hotel, an upscale hotel steps away from the White House, involving a senior supervisor responsible for about two dozen agents in the presidential security detail. The Washington Post reported on its website that supervisor Ignacio Zamora Jr., was allegedly discovered trying to re-enter the room of a woman he had met in the hotel's bar after accidentally leaving a bullet from his service weapon in her hotel room.
After the woman refused to let him back in, Zamora sought access from hotel staff, who notified the White House, a Secret Service review found. In the subsequent probe, investigators came across sexually suggestive emails that Zamora and another supervisor, Timothy Barraclough, had sent to a female subordinate, the newspaper reported, citing people with knowledge of the case.
Zamora has been suspended from his position while Barraclough has been reassigned to another position within the president's detail.
U.S.Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said, "We have always maintained that the Secret Service has a professional and dedicated workforce. Periodically we have isolated incidents of misconduct, just like every organization does."
The Post said that lawyers for Zamora, Barraclough and the female agent declined to comment. The newspaper said its efforts to reach Zamora and Barraclough directly were unsuccessful.
The elite service has sought to close a difficult chapter in its storied history that was blighted by a prostitution scandal last year during preparations for Obama's trip to Cartagena, Colombia. Thirteen agents and officers were implicated after an agent argued with a prostitute over payment in a hotel hallway, pointing to a culture of carousing within the agency.
Obama in March named veteran Secret Service agent Julia Pierson as the agency's first female director, signaling his desire to change the culture at the service and restore confidence in its operations.