The latest embarrassing episode involving a drunken Secret Service agent overseas for a presidential trip was an isolated incident, says Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, the Associated Press reports. Pierson and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson met with members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to talk about an agent found drunk in a hotel in the Netherlands last month. “I remain committed to swiftly and vigorously addressing any instances of misconduct that are brought to my attention and have instructed my senior staff to do the same,” Pierson said. “In addition to instituting and clearly communicating a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to misconduct, I recognize the need to put equal weight on continuously improving our human capital policies and practices.”
Pierson was appointed last year after Director Mark Sullivan retired almost a year after thirteen agents and officers were accused of partying with female foreign citizens at a hotel in the seaside resort of Cartagena, Colombia, where they were staying before President Obama’s arrival for a Latin American summit. Sullivan issued new conduct rules, ordering agents to stop drinking 10 hours before reporting to duty. Agents were ordered to drink alcohol only “in moderate amounts while off duty” or on temporary assignment, says the updated Secret Service professional conduct manual obtained by AP.