The U.S. Secret Service has placed 11 agents on administrative leave amid allegations that the men brought prostitutes to their hotel rooms in Cartagena, Colombia, on Wednesday night and that a dispute ensued with one of the women over payment, the Washington Post reports. Secret Service Assistant Director Paul Morrissey said the agents had violated the service’s “zero-tolerance policy on personal misconduct” during their trip to prepare for President Obama’s arrival at an international summit.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said Secret Service officials conducting an internal investigation told him that the staff at the Hotel Caribe summoned local police after discovering a woman in the room of one agent after 7 a.m., against the hotel’s policy for visitors of paying guests. King praised the agency for removing the men, but he added that “everything they did was a violation of proper conduct.” He said, “First of all, to be getting involved with prostitutes in a foreign country can leave yourself vulnerable to blackmail and threats. To be bringing prostitutes or almost anyone into a security zone when you’re supposed to protect the president is totally wrong.”