The following is a statement from Assistant Director Paul S. Morrissey U.S. Secret Service Office of Government and Public Affairs:
"On Thursday, April 12, 2012, allegations of misconduct were made against 11 Secret Service personnel in Cartagena, Colombia, in advance of the President's trip. These personnel were comprised of both special agents and Uniformed Division officers, none of whom are assigned to the Presidential Protective Division.
The nature of the allegations, coupled with a zero tolerance policy on personal misconduct, resulted in the Secret Service taking the decisive action to relieve these individuals of their assignment, return them to their place of duty and replace them with additional Secret Service personnel. These actions have had no impact on the Secret Service's ability to execute a comprehensive security plan for the President's visit to Cartagena.
This matter was turned over to our Office of Professional Responsibility, which serves as the agency's internal affairs component. The personnel involved were brought to Secret Service Headquarters in Washington, D.C., for interviews today. These interviews have been completed. As a result, all 11 employees have been placed on administrative leave. This is standard procedure and allows us the opportunity to conduct a full, thorough and fair investigation into the allegations.
This matter is now in a personnel action phase which prohibits any comment per Secret Service policy.
The Secret Service demands more from its employees and these expectations are met and exceeded every day by the vast majority of our workforce. This incident is not reflective of the behavior of our personnel as they travel every day throughout the country and the world performing their duties in a dedicated, professional manner.
We regret any distraction from the Summit of the Americas this situation has caused."