US Secret Service chief to retire

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WASHINGTON : US Secret Service chief Joseph Clancy will retire in early March, the elite agency tasked with protecting the US president said Tuesday.

A former head of US President Barack Obama’s detail, Clancy returned from a previous retirement to steer the agency two years ago, amid outcry over several security lapses at the White House that tarnished the agency’s image.

Clancy — who prior to his first retirement had served the agency for nearly three decades — will officially step down once more on March 4, and new US President Donald Trump will appoint his successor.

The Secret Service, made up of some 6,500 people, is also responsible for the security of former presidents and vice presidents, as well as foreign heads of state and government on official visits.

Since the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy, it has additionally
protected presidential candidates.

The agency has suffered a string of embarrassing scandals, including a 2014 high-profile incident in which a mentally disturbed veteran scaled the fence and burst into the White House with a knife.

The former head of the agency, Julia Pierson, resigned in the wake of that scandal.

She had initially been appointed to clean up the service after a dozen agents were found to have hired prostitutes during a 2012 presidential trip to Colombia.

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