41 Secret Service Agents Disciplined Over Congressman's Personnel File Leak
The agents allegedly disclosed the personnel files of Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
— -- A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigation into the U.S. Secret Service’s disclosure of the personnel files of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has resulted in discipline for 41 agents.
The leaker has also resigned, according to a statement by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.
The conduct of 57 Secret Service personnel was reviewed, including 11 in the Senior Executive Service level, the highest levels of government. Of those, 41 are receiving some level of discipline, according to the statement by Johnson.
The discipline ranges from a letter of reprimand to suspensions from duty without pay for periods of up to 45 days.
The person who was found to have disclosed the private information the Washington Post, has resigned from the Secret Service, said Johnson.
"Like many others I was appalled by the episode reflected in the Inspector General’s report, which brought real discredit to the Secret Service," said Johnson.
In Oct. 2015, the Inspector General of Homeland Security found that agents dug into the confidential personnel files of Chaffetz, who was leading an investigation into a string of security lapses and scandals at the Secret Service.
The Congressman, who is is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, had applied for a job with the Secret Service years before he was elected to the House and agents were looking for something that might embarrass him, according to the IG report.
The IG found that the internal agency data search was launched just 18 minutes after a hearing chaired by Chaffetz slammed the Secret Service for lax discipline and poor performance.
"This should have never happened and should not happen again," Chaffetz said in a statement in response to Johnson's announcement.
Johnson said he found no basis to take any action with respect to Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy or Deputy Director Craig Magaw.
A spokesperson for the Secret Service said that "the incident occurred in March 2015, over a year ago, since that time an independent investigation was conducted and concluded."
"Discipline was issued to all employees who were found to have improperly accessed and distributed information contained within our personnel records," the spokesperson said.
The agency has taken corrective actions to establish new protocols and procedures to ensure employee accountability and restrict unauthorized access, according to the Secret Service.
Ben Siegel and Jack Date contributed to this story.
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