Obama names woman to lead Secret Service - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Obama names woman to lead Secret Service

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON -

President Barack Obama on Tuesday named veteran Secret Service agent Julia Pierson as the agency's first female director, signaling his desire to change the culture at the male-dominated service, which has been marred by scandal.
    
Pierson, who most recently served as the agency's chief of staff, will take over from Mark Sullivan, who announced his retirement last month. The agency faced intense criticism during Sullivan's tenure for a prostitution scandal during preparations for Obama's trip to Cartagena, Colombia, last year.
    
The incident raised questions within the agency - as well as at the White House and on Capitol Hill - about the culture, particularly during foreign travel. In addition to protecting the president, the Secret Service also investigates financial crimes.
    
"Over her 30 years of experience with the Secret Service, Julia has consistently exemplified the spirit and dedication the men and women of the service demonstrate every day," Obama said in a statement announcing Pierson's appointment, which does not require Senate confirmation.
    
At the Secret Service, Pierson has served as deputy assistant director of the office of protective operations, assistant director of human resources and training and chief of staff. She started in 1983 as a special agent in Miami. Before that, she was a police officer in Orlando, Fla.
    
"Julia is eminently qualified to lead the agency that not only safeguards Americans at major events and secures our financial system, but also protects our leaders and our first families, including my own," Obama said. "Julia has had an exemplary career, and I know these experiences will guide her as she takes on this new challenge to lead the impressive men and women of this important agency."
    
Thirteen Secret Service employees were caught up in last year's prostitution scandal. After a night of heavy partying in the Caribbean resort city of Cartagena, the employees brought women, including prostitutes, to the hotel where they were staying. The incident became public after one agent refused to pay a prostitute and the pair argued about payment in a hotel hallway.
    
Eight of the employees were forced out of the agency, three were cleared of serious misconduct and at least two have been fighting to get their jobs back.
    
The incident took place before Obama arrived in Colombia and the service said the president's safety was never compromised. But news of the scandal broke during his trip, overshadowing the summit and embarrassing the U.S. delegation.
    
Sullivan issued a new code of conduct that bans employees from drinking within 10 hours of starting a shift or bringing foreign nationals back to their hotel rooms.
    
Sullivan apologized for the incident last year during testimony before a Senate panel.

Read Pierson's official biography

 

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • SBI changes could affect 2016 NC gubernatorial election

    SBI changes could affect 2016 NC gubernatorial election

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:11 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:11:39 GMT
    McCrory quickly named an acting director for SBI Aug. 7, hours after signing legislation that shifted the agency to one of his Cabinet-level agencies, picking another one of his law enforcement leaders to fill the job.McCrory quickly named an acting director for SBI Aug. 7, hours after signing legislation that shifted the agency to one of his Cabinet-level agencies, picking another one of his law enforcement leaders to fill the job.
    A change in who the director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation reports to could have an affect on the 2016 gubernatorial election.
    A change in who the director of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation reports to could have an affect on the 2016 gubernatorial election.
  • NC legislators approve regulating toxic coal ash

    NC legislators approve regulating toxic coal ash

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-08-21 00:36:33 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    North Carolina lawmakers have approved legislation they say makes the state the nation's first to address decades of toxic water pollution from residue left behind by coal-burning electricity plants.
    North Carolina lawmakers have approved legislation they say makes the state the nation's first to address decades of toxic water pollution from residue left behind by coal-burning electricity plants.
  • State officials hear from both sides of NC fracking debate

    State officials hear from both sides of NC fracking debate

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:56:13 GMT
    People rallying outside ahead of Wednesday's public comment hearing on fracking.People rallying outside ahead of Wednesday's public comment hearing on fracking.
    Supporters and opponents of the process of hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “fracking,” are today getting an opportunity to voice their opinions on the process.
    Supporters and opponents of the process of hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “fracking,” are today getting an opportunity to voice their opinions on the process.
  • Police investigating shooting near VSU campus

    Police investigating shooting near VSU campus

    Police investigating shooting near VSU campus

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:57 AM EDT2014-08-22 12:57:58 GMT
    ETTRICK, VA (WSLS) - Police in Chesterfield are investigating reports of an overnight shooting near the Virginia State University campus.
    ETTRICK, VA (WSLS) - Police in Chesterfield are investigating reports of an overnight shooting near the Virginia State University campus.
  • Danville police investigate possible gang activity

    Danville police investigate possible gang activity

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:40 PM EDT2014-08-22 02:40:38 GMT
    Danville police said 8 people face charges of prohibited street gang activity in connection to an attack of a 49 year-old man.
    Danville police said 8 people face charges of prohibited street gang activity in connection to an attack of a 49 year-old man.
  • Hundreds of marijuana plants seized in Henry County

    Hundreds of marijuana plants seized in Henry County

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:13 PM EDT2014-08-22 17:13:01 GMT
    Investigators with the Henry County Sheriff's Office and the Virginia State Police have seized 221 marijuana plants around a home in Bassett.
    Investigators with the Henry County Sheriff's Office and the Virginia State Police have seized 221 marijuana plants around a home in Bassett.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.