Ousted Secret Service Agent Posted Pics of Sarah Palin on Facebook
Greg Stokes and David Chaney are no longer with the Secret Service, a source says.
On his Facebook page, former Secret Service agent David Chaney admitted checking out former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin during the 2008 campaign. (Facebook)
David Chaney and Greg Stokes are the two Secret Service supervisors no longer with the agency in the wake of the incident immediately preceding President Barack Obama's trip to Colombia for the Summit of the Americas, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN National Security Contributor Fran Townsend on Thursday.
In a photo posted on his public Facebook page in January 2009, Chaney is seen standing behind Palin, wearing dark glasses and what appears be a wedding ring. Under the photo, Chaney posted a comment that said, "I was really checking her out, if you know what I mean?" That comment drew a strong response from Palin Thursday night.
"This agent who was kind of ridiculous there in posting pictures and comments about checking someone out," Palin said on Fox News. "Check this out, bodyguard. You're fired! And I hope his wife sends him to the doghouse."
Chaney and Stokes are among 11 total Secret Service employees who are under investigation because of the scandal. More Secret Service employees could leave the agency Friday, said House Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Peter King, R-New York.
Attorney Lawrence Berger told CNN that he is representing Chaney and Stokes, but declined further comment, including why he is representing the two men. Berger is general counsel for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, a union that includes the Secret Service, among other agencies.
Authorities outside Chaney's home in Ashburn, Virginia, said that Chaney had relayed that he did not want to speak to reporters outside.
Chaney, a son of a Secret Service agent, has been employed with the U.S. Secret Service since 1987, according to his posting on Reunion.com. That message notes that he is married, has an adopted son and his assignments include a stint protecting former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Stokes supervised the canine training unit at the Secret Service's James J. Rowley Training Center outside Washington, according to PetLife Radio and a career development posting on the University of Maryland's website.
The agency has said that one of those who left the agency is a supervisory employee who is being allowed to retire. Another employee resigned, the agency said. A third agent -- also a supervisory employee -- is being pushed out, with the agency proposing his removal. A U.S. official said on condition of not being identified that this agent plans to fight his ouster. It was not immediately clear whether this person was Chaney or Stokes.
The other eight members allegedly involved in the scandal are on administrative leave and have had their security clearances suspended, according to the Secret Service. Ten military personnel are also being investigated for their possible participation.
They were all part of the "jump team" that flies in on military transport planes with the presidential limousine and other vehicles to be used in the president's motorcade, Townsend said.
They arrived the morning of the incident, raising questions about whether the activity was planned.
All the employees are accused of bringing prostitutes to Cartagena's Hotel El Caribe ahead of last week's visit by Obama, who was there to attend the Pan-American summit.
According to sources, the alleged prostitutes -- the youngest of whom were in their early 20s -- had all signed in at the hotel, where the Secret Service members apparently stayed, flashing their local ID cards.
One of these women allegedly was later involved in a dispute about how much she was to be paid for the night, which brought the entire incident to light and sparked controversy in the United States and Colombia.
Despite concerns that contact with Colombian nationals could have led to security breaches regarding President Barack Obama's activities in the South American nation, King said, "from everything we know, nothing was compromised."
Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe told CNN on Thursday that he rejects "the idea that Cartagena is a destination for tourists seeking prostitution or illicit drugs." He said the incident is due entirely to "a lack of ethics (on the part of) the Secret Service of the United States."
Members of the U.S. Congress offered similarly biting remarks.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California called the allegations "disgusting," while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid described the agents' alleged actions as "either really stupid or a total lack of common sense."
At least five investigations have, or will soon, be launched as a result.
In addition to the Secret Service employees, five members of America's elite Army Special Forces, or Green Berets, plus two people from the Navy, two from the Marines and one from the Air Force are being questioned, a U.S. official said.
The Green Berets' failure to make curfew the night of the incident involving the Secret Service agents led the military to start its own investigation, a U.S. official told CNN. Officials said they are based at Eglin Air Force Base, in Florida's Panhandle, and belong to the 7th Special Forces Group, which operates mostly in Central and South America.
All the military personnel are being investigated for heavy drinking and use of prostitutes while in Colombia as part of the support team for Obama's visit, the official said.
They are not likely to redeploy until the matter is resolved, other military officials said, though no formal order bars their deployment.
The military investigation could end with no action, administrative action like a letter of reprimand or a recommendation to proceed with criminal charges, officials said.
While soliciting prostitution is in most cases legal for adults in Colombia, it is considered a breach of the Secret Service's conduct code, government sources said. Military law also bars service members from patronizing prostitutes, engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer or, for enlisted personnel, conduct "prejudicial to good order and discipline."