The Secret Service announced Tuesday that two more agents connected to the embarrassing Cartagena, Colombia prostitution scandal had chosen to resign and that the agency was moving to fire a third.
The news came shortly after President Barack Obama, taping an appearance on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," blamed the uproar on " a couple of knuckleheads" in an otherwise "incredible" agency.
Assistant Director Paul Morrissey from the Secret Service Office of Government and Public Affairs announced the latest personnel news in a written statement that also specified that two other agents had been cleared of serious wrongdoing and would face "administrative action." A U.S. government official familiar with the situation told Yahoo News that could mean anything from a verbal rebuke by a supervisor to a few days of leave.
"The Secret Service's investigation into allegations of misconduct by its employees in Cartagena, Colombia, continues," Morrissey said in the statement. Two more employees have chosen to resign in connection to the scandal, in which agents preparing for Obama's visit to an international summit in Cartagena allegedly brought prostitutes back to their hotel.
The agency is moving to permanently revoke the security clearance of one other individual, a process that allows that person to appeal. If the appeal fails, the employee "must separate" from the agency, Morrissey said.
If that happens, the number of agents who will have resigned, retired or been removed over the controversy will reach nine. Three have been cleared of serious wrongdoing, meaning the agency has addressed the status of all 12 employees under investigation.
"The Secret Service is committed to conducting a full, thorough and fair investigation in this matter, and will not hesitate to take appropriate action should any additional information come to light," Morrissey said.
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