Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan resigns

Vince Coglianese Editorial Director
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Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan’s resignation was announced Friday.

NBC News’ Kristen Welker reported via Twitter Friday afternoon that “Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan will announce his resignation today according to multiple sources.”

The Associated Press also confirmed that report through a Secret Service spokesman. Sullivan will retire effective Feb. 23 and his replacement has not been announced.

Sullivan has overseen the Secret Service since 2006 and was its director during the agency’s high-profile prostitution scandal last year.

12 Secret Service agents and several other military personnel were allegedly involved with prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia in April 2012. Those agents were sent there to set up advance security ahead of a visit by President Obama.

ABC News’ Jake Tapper reported in October of last year that a DHS Inspector General’s report revealed that prior to the Cartagena incident, the Secret Service had some more history of scandalous behavior:

“Thus far, we have not found that this type of behavior was exhibited by any of these individuals before,” Sullivan testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in May, referring to the 12 agents who were accused of drinking and cavorting with prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, ahead of President Obama’s visit for the Summit of the Americas.

The report, however, revealed that one of the agents who was in Cartagena during the scandal and picked up a prostitute “admitted to soliciting a prostitute on two previous occasions, once in El Salvador in 2008/2009 and one time in Panama in 2009.”

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano thanked Sullivan for his service in a statement Friday afternoon:

“I want to thank Mark Sullivan for his nearly seven years as Director of the United States Secret Service, 29 years of service to five presidents and 34 years of service to the country in law enforcement. His commitment to keeping our country and its top officials safe is unparalleled, and his devotion to the mission of the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security has been unwavering.”

President Obama released a statement celebrating Sullivan’s tenure on Friday as well:

“I want to thank Mark Sullivan for nearly 30 years of service to our nation at the United States Secret Service, a tenure that saw the agency protect five first families including my own.  Mark started out in the Detroit Field Office before joining the Presidential Protective Division.  And since 2006, as Director, Mark has led the Agency with  incredible dedication and integrity.  The Secret Service is best known for protecting our nation’s leaders, but every day they also protect the American people.  From securing large events such as Presidential Inaugurations to safeguarding our financial system, the men and women of the agency perform their mission with professionalism and dedication.  That is a testament to Mark and his steadfast leadership, which will be missed.  Michelle and I wish him all the best.”

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