Federal investigators are looking into allegations that the Secret Service deviated from normal polygraphing methods in checking into the Cartagena prostitution scandal — including claims that polygraphy experts in the agency were uncomfortable with the deviations, the Washington Post reports. Senior Secret Service managers are said to have ordered the unusual methods in a rush to take swift action and put the humiliating episode behind the enforcement agency.
Now the inspector general for the parent Department of Homeland Security is probing whether such variations and rushing could have led to flawed conclusions and unfair punishments for some men implicated in the scandal. The disclosure last month that a dozen Secret Service agents and officers had gone out for a night of heavy drinking while on a presidential business trip to Colombia and returned to their hotel rooms with prostitutes raised questions about the agency’s culture and whether Director Mark Sullivan would keep his job. Sources said some agents implicated in the prostitution scandal were pressured to resign almost immediately after being shipped out of Colombia on April 13, before being given polygraph exams. Some were separately put under significant duress during extended polygraph sessions, conditions that could lead to faulty or inconclusive results.