PUBLISHED: 00:00 EST, 1 February 2013 | UPDATED: 18:51 EST, 1 February 2013
Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan is retiring this month after 30 years with the agency.
Sullivan is stepping down less than a year after the agency became embroiled in a prostitution scandal, which involved 13 agents and officers in Cartegena, Colombia ahead of a visit by President Obama.
Sullivan, who has served as director of the agency since 2006, was called to testify on the scandal before Congress last year. His retirement will become effective on Feb. 23.
Retiring: Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan will retire after 30 years on with the agency
Sullivan testifies before Congress on a prostitution scandal that involved a dozen Secret Service agents in Cartagena, Colombia
Sullivan joined the Secret Service in 1983 after three years a a special agent in the inspector general’s office at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
President Obama said Sullivan ‘will be missed.’
‘I want to thank Mark Sullivan for nearly 30 years of service to our nation at the United States Secret Service, a tenure that saw the agency protect five first families including my own,’ he said in a statement. ‘The Secret Service is best known for protecting our nation’s leaders, but every day they also protect the American people.
‘From securing large events such as presidential inaugurations to safeguarding our financial system, the men and women of the agency perform their mission with professionalism and dedication,’ the statement continued. ‘That is a testament to Mark and his steadfast leadership, which will be missed.’
Sullivan tightened the agency’s code of conduct after the Colombian prostitution scandal, which also resulted in the firing or retirement of eight agents.
The new policies state that alcohol consumption is only allowed in moderate amounts while off-duty and that consumption is prohibited within 10 hours of reporting for duty.
The rules also prohibit foreign nationals from entering an agent’s hotel room.
The scandal in Colombia happened during a night of heavy drinking and partying between agents and members of the military two days before Obama’s arrival in Cartagena.
The scandal was discovered because an agent had promised Colombian escort girl Dania Londoño (pictured) $800 for sex, but then he refused to pay up, according to Londoño
Londoño caused a ruckus in the hotel when she wasn’t payed and alerted local police to the misbehavior happening that night
This is the hotel where Secret Service agents brought their night of partying home ahead of Obama’s visit to Cartagena
The misbehavior was discovered because an agent had promised Colombian escort girl Dania Londoño $800 for sex, but then he refused to pay up, according to Londoño.
She was one of several prostitutes that agents and members of the military brought back to the hotel where they were staying ahead of Obama’s visit.
Londoño caused a ruckus in the hotel when she wasn’t payed and alerted local police to the misbehavior happening that night.
The scandal unraveled from there.
This is the Pleycub in Colombia where Secret Service agents and members of the military partied
When Sullivan testified on the incident in May, he said it was not evidence of a wider culture of boozing and paying for sex within the agency.
‘I’m confident this is not a cultural issue. This is not a systemic issue with us,’ Sullivan said. ‘That type of behavior was just reckless.’
There have been more than five dozen allegations of sexual misconduct against employees of the Secret Service in the last five years, according to Sen. Joseph Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
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