Five SOUTHCOM Members May Be Involved In Secret Service Scandal
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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Five U.S. service members have been confined to quarters for violating curfew at the same Colombian hotel where eleven Secret Service agents were relieved of duty after allegations of misconduct arose involving prostitutes.
CBS4 has learned that members of South Florida’s Southern Command, based in Doral, may be involved.
The members of Southern Command were assigned to the summit in Cartagena, Colombia where President Barack Obama is in attendance. The president arrived on Friday to take part in the 33 nation Summit of the Americas.
“The president’s safety was never in jeopardy,” John Adler of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association told CBS4 in an exclusive interview. “His mission was not in jeopardy. We’re talking about an isolated incident here that involved allegations of off-duty conduct.”
Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, the commander of Southern Command, said any punishment would follow an investigation. Fraser also said he was “disappointed by the entire incident” and that their behavior “is not in keeping with the professional standards expected of members of the United States military.”
The service members’ names and assignments for the summit were not immediately available.
Air Force Gen. Douglas Fraser, the commander of Southern Command, said they are still investigating what tasks the service members were performing in Colombia, and what they did at the hotel. The five were staying at the same hotel as the Secret Service agents who were recalled.
The Secret Service said they sent their agents for misconduct that occurred at their hotel before Obama’s arrival in Colombia on Friday. The agency did not confirm if it was related to an incident with at least one prostitute.
“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,” according to a statement from the Secret Service.
“The only misconduct I can confirm is that they were violating the curfew established,” said Col. Scott Malcom, chief of public affairs for Southern Command.
Malcom said he could not confirm whether the service members also participated in the alleged involvement with prostitutes.
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