The overhaul going on at the U.S. Secret Service may need a little more time to take hold.
In the latest in a string of high-profile embarrassments for the agency in charge of protecting the president, two senior agents have been reassigned following an incident at the White House complex last week, according to a Secret Service official.
While the Secret Service wouldn’t confirm the nature of the incident, the Washington Post reported Wednesday that the two agents crashed a government car into a White House security barricade after drinking at a farewell party for a colleague.
Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy has turned over the investigation to the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general, said Brian Leary, a Secret Service spokesman, in an e-mail.
“If misconduct is identified, appropriate action will be taken based on established rules and regulations,” he said.
An administration official said President Barack Obama had been informed of the investigation and supported the decision to have the inspector general lead that review.
The two agents allegedly drove their car through an area that had been cordoned off to investigate a suspicious package and hit a temporary barricade, the Post said. While officers wanted to perform a sobriety test, the agents were excused and told to go home by a supervisor, according to the report.
Clancy was appointed by Obama in February to become the permanent head of the agency after its previous director, Julia Pierson, resigned following a series of high-profile security breaches. These included an incident in which an intruder was able to scale the White House’s north fence and run through the front door. In January, four top Secret Service officials were removed from their jobs as part of the agency overhaul.
A panel appointed by Obama after Pierson’s resignation recommended that a new director be named from outside the organization to “do the honest top-to-bottom reassessment” of the agency that was needed to change its culture and improve performance.