New code of conduct issued for Secret Service agents

The U.S. Secret Service is laying down the law with tough new standards of conduct for its employees.

People walk past Hotel El Caribe in Cartagena, Colombia, late Thursday April 19, 2012. Eleven Secret Service employees are accused of misconduct in connection with a prostitution scandal at the hotel last week before President Barack Obama's arrival for the Summit of the Americas. The identities of two Secret Service supervisors who have been pushed out of the agency in the wake of the scandal have been revealed.(AP Photo/Pedro Mendoza)

(CBS News) The U.S. Secret Service is laying down the law with tough new standards of conduct for its employees.

Today deputy director AT Smith e-mailed a memo to all employees reminding them of the five core values of the Secret Service and instituting strict new rules for conduct in reaction to the Secret Service scandal in Cartagena, Colombia.

The memo directs employees to "always conduct yourselves in a manner that reflects credit on you, the Secret Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and - most importantly - the United States Government and the citizens that we serve."

The new enhanced standards of conduct "effective immediately", include mandatory ethics training in a classroom setting for Secret Service employees, a ban patronization of "non-reputable establishments" like strip clubs, and a requirement that no foreign nationals enter a hotel room.

In terms of alcohol, it may only be consumed in moderate amounts while off duty on-assignment and a new 10 hour sobriety rule will be instated. Previously employees were not able to drink 6 hours before a shift started.

Two GS-15 level senior supervisors will also chaperone all support teams who travel in advance of the president in "car planes" that carry the president's vehicles and communications equipment.

The new standards have been added to the official USSS guidebook. The enhanced standards were sent today to all agents and uniform personnel.

The guidelines include:

foreign nationals with exception of hotel staff and official counterparts are not permitted in hotel rooms.

Alcohol is allowed to be consumed only in moderate amounts when an agent is off duty and prohibited within 10 hours of reporting for duty.

Alcohol may not be consumed at protective hotel once protected visit has begun.

On car planes that is military transports traveling overseas two GS 15 supervisors must be on board including one supervisor from the USSS office of responsibility.

All laws of United States shall apply to Secret Service agents while abroad.

The guidelines come after a scandal involving President Obama's recent trip to Colombia. Of the 12 Secret Service agents probed in connection with the scandal, six have resigned. One was allowed to retire; one has been fired but can still appeal. Another has had his security clearance revoked but could appeal the revocation and would lose his job should that appeal be denied. And three have been cleared of serious wrongdoing.

The agency is also looking into reports that Secret Service agents were involved with strippers during President Obama's March 2011 visit to El Salvador. That incident was first reported by CBS Affiliate KIRO-Seattle.

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 149301265 -