New Secret Service rules on alcohol, unsavory bars


WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Seeking to shake the disgrace of a prostitution scandal, the Secret Service late Friday tightened conduct rules for its agents to prohibit them from drinking excessively, visiting disreputable establishments while traveling or bringing foreigners to their hotel rooms.

The new behavior policies apply to Secret Service agents even when they are off duty while traveling, barring them from drinking alcohol within 10 hours of working, according to a memorandum describing the changes obtained by The Associated Press. In some cases under the new rules, chaperones will accompany agents on trips. The embattled Secret Service director, Mark Sullivan, urged agents and other employees to “consider your conduct through the lens of the past several weeks.”

The Secret Service said it would conduct a training session on ethics next week.

Sullivan said the rules “cannot address every situation that our employees will face as we execute our dual-missions throughout the world.” He added: “The absence of a specific, published standard of conduct covering an act or behavior does not mean that the act is condoned, is permissible, or will not call for — and result in — corrective or disciplinary action.”

The agency-wide changes were intended to staunch the embarrassing disclosures since April 13, when a prostitution scandal erupted in Colombia involving 12 Secret Service agents, officers and supervisors and 12 more enlisted military personnel who were there ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to a South American summit.