US Secret Service chief says he’s working to change agency

World Today

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 17, 2015, before the House Appropriations Homeland Security Budget hearing. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

The head of the U.S. Secret Service says he is frustrated about the latest allegations of wrongdoing by two senior agents.

Joseph Clancy says he wasn’t told about an alleged drunken driving incident near the White House earlier this month for several days. Clancy was testifying Tuesday before a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the budget of the beleaguered agency that protects the president.

Clancy says video of the March 4 incident shows a vehicle driven by a senior agent nudged a large construction barrier near a White House gate at a low rate of speed. The two agents involved in the latest incident have been assigned to nonsupervisory jobs.

The investigation has been turned over to the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general. Clancey says that investigation must be completed before disciplinary action can be taken.

Nonetheless, he said he was frustrated that he was not told about the incident for several days and only learned about it from an anonymous email.

“I should have been informed,” he told the House panel. And that delay, he said, suggests there is still a lot of work to be done to change the agency’s culture, including the use of alcohol.

Clancy acknowledged that some agents and officers have used alcohol to help deal with the job’s stresses, but insisted that it was a small group.

Lawmakers, including Rep. David Young, a Republican, pressed Clancy on why the agents involved in the latest incident have not been fired.

“I’m surprised that these two agents…haven’t stood up and said ‘I resign.’ What do you do with them?” Young asked.

Report from The Associated Press.