President Obama named confidant Joseph Clancy to lead the Secret Service, despite demands by members of Congress for fresh blood atop the troubled agency, reports Politico. Clancy has served as acting director since October, when Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson appointed him after embarrassing fumbles involving the First Family's security forced the agency to replace most of its senior staff. “Ultimately, Joe Clancy struck the right balance of familiarity with the Secret Service and its missions, respect from within the workforce, and a demonstrated determination to make hard choices and foster needed change,” Johnson said. Some congressional Republicans said an administration insider is not what the agency needs.
In December, a panel examining the Secret Service's missteps said its next chief should be “a strong leader from outside the agency … who can drive cultural change in the organization.” “It is disappointing the president ignored the recommendation from the independent panel, appointed by Secretary Johnson, to select a director from outside the Secret Service,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “The panel made it crystal clear that only a director from outside the agency would meet the needs of the agency today – someone with a fresh perspective, free from allegiances and without ties to what has consistently been described as a 'good old boys network.' ” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) praised Clancy, as did Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Oversight Committee’s top Democrat.