A Matter of Principle as Pierson Quits US Secret Service Job
Julia Pierson resigned as Secret Service director on Wednesday after just a year and a half on the job, following a series of major security lapses that eroded President Obama’s confidence in her ability to run the agency tasked with protecting him.
This is happening Nigerian top security apparatchik having showed gross incompetence in handling the terror war have stayed put on their jobs. The Pierson example ought to serve as a humbling template for the heads of the various security agencies in Nigeria.
Pierson’s abrupt departure — one day after Obama expressed full confidence in her — came as lawmakers from both parties were calling for her ouster after her halting performance during a House hearing Tuesday.
A decisive factor in the president’s change of heart, aides said, was that he learned only from news accounts Tuesday that a private security guard with a gun and a criminal history had not been screened before being allowed to board an elevator with him last month in Atlanta.
Earlier Tuesday, Pierson, 55, had offered a shifting and incomplete account about how an armed intruder had evaded several layers of White House security two weeks ago and made it through the front door before being tackled by an off-duty agent.
Obama “concluded new leadership of the agency was needed based on recent and accumulating accounts” of performance problems within the agency, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced the resignation of Secret Service Director Julia Pierson on Wednesday. This comes after Pierson faced heavy criticism from Congress for security lapses at the White House. (Reuters)
Pierson had been installed by Obama in March 2013 as the first female director in the agency’s 148-year history. Her appointment was aimed in part at helping the agency overcome a reputation as a boys club following a prostitution scandal the previous year.
But her tenure was rocky and included an embarrassing scandal in March when three agents were sent home from a presidential trip to Europe after one was found passed out drunk in the hallway of Obama’s hotel.
“It had to happen,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), one of Pierson’s fiercest critics, said of her departure. “She lost the confidence of the men and women in the Secret Service. The situation was getting worse, not better. She wasn’t candid with Congress, nor was she sharing vital details with the president.”