Federal investigators are looking into allegations that the Secret Service deviated from normal polygraphing methods in the wake of a Cartagena prostitution scandal — including claims that polygraphy experts inside the service were uncomfortable with the deviations.
Senior Secret Service managers are said to have ordered the unusual methods in a rush to take swift action and put the humiliating episode behind the storied law enforcement agency. But now the inspector general for the Service’s parent agency — the Department of Homeland Security — is probing whether such variations and rushing could have led to flawed conclusions and unfair punishments for some men implicated in the scandal, according to two individuals briefed on the probe.
The public disclosure last month that a dozen Secret Service agents and officers had gone out for a night of heavy drinking while on a presidential business trip to Colombia and returned to their hotel rooms with prostitutes raised questions about the agency’s culture, and whether Director Mark Sullivan would keep his job. As President Obama faced a stream of questions about his bodyguards rather than his international economic summit in Colombia, Sullivan assured the White House and Congress he would move rapidly to investigate and root out the problem agents.