US Drug Agency Chief To Quit After Sex Scandal
The head of the US Drug Enforcement Administration is to step down after it emerged her agents held cartel-funded parties with prostitutes in Colombia.
Michele Leonhart will stand down from the agency in mid-May, the Justice Department said.
In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder praised her “leadership” and “35 years of extraordinary service” to the DEA.
She had led the agency since 2007 and was the second woman to hold the job.
But her competence was questioned last week as she was grilled by members of the House Oversight Committee about the scandal.
A majority of the panel said they had lost confidence in her because she was “woefully unable to change” the agency’s culture.
A Justice Department watchdog in March found agents held orgies in government-leased quarters where their laptops, phones and other equipment were accessible.
Three DEA agents were accused of accepting money, expensive gifts and weapons from drug cartel members.
Ultimately, seven out of 10 of the agents admitted attending the parties. Suspensions ranging from two to 10 days were imposed.
Sex parties thrown by DEA agents at one government-provided quarters were so loud that building management complained four times to agency officials.
The report also noted an allegation that operational funds were used to pay for prostitutes at a farewell party for a DEA regional director stationed overseas.
DEA officials did not fully comply with the official inquiry, said the inspector general, and some agents wiped data off their phones before handing them over.
The inspector general’s investigation also uncovered serious misconduct at the US Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Source: Sky News