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Alarm at George H.W. Bush's Houston home broken for 13 months, report says

Alarm at George H.W. Bush's Houston home broken for 13 months, report says
Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, placed their home in Maine for permanent security, while their Houston home had a normal alarm system installed. That alarm system was out for 13 months, according to a report by the inspector general's office. (David J. Phillip / Associated Press)

The alarm system at the Texas home of the former President George H.W. Bush was broken for at least 13 months before the Secret Service fixed it, according to a federal report released on Thursday.

The disclosure is in a report by Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth who said that Secret Service personnel protecting the first President Bush noticed a failure in the alarm system at Bush's Houston home in September 2013. The alarm had outlived its recommended period of operation, the report found.

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The Roth report also found security equipment problems at the homes of other former presidents. Their names were redacted from the public report.

In its response, the Secret Service, which is in charge of security for former presidents as well as the current one, said the problems had been fixed with repairs and upgraded equipment. A temporary alarm was installed in April 2014 at the Bush home.

According to the report, a former president may designate one home to be permanently secured by the Secret Service. Bush designated the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.

But the family also uses the home in Houston, which is protected by an alarm system. After the discovery of the failed alarm, the Secret Service assigned an agent to a roving post at the house.

"The protectees may have occupied the residence for a period of time without a roving post or a working alarm system," according to the Roth report.

A Bush family spokesman said that the family continues to have "total confidence" in their security.

"George and Barbara Bush have total confidence in the men and women of the Secret Service," spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement. "Their trust in them is as unshakable as it is unbreakable."

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