Forty-one Secret Service employees will be disciplined over leaking private information about Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz in apparent retribution for a House investigation of the agency last year.
The employees face a range of sanctions, from a reprimand to suspension without pay, according to a statement Thursday from Homeland Security Department Secretary Jeh Johnson. One individual found to have disclosed the Utah Republican’s information to The Washington Post has resigned.
“This should have never happened and should not happen again,” Chaffetz said through his spokeswoman M.J. Henshaw.
Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was leading a probe of the Secret Service last fall that exposed embarrassing breaches, such as drinking on the job and intruders at the White House. An unidentified Secret Service official then encouraged the release of information on Chaffetz “that he might find embarrassing,” according to the department.
A database containing information from Chaffetz’s 2003 application for a job at the Secret Service was accessed 60 times, according to a September investigation by the department’s inspector general. That investigation reviewed the conduct of 57 Secret Service personnel.
Johnson said he was, “appalled” at the behavior of the agents in question, which, he said, “brought real discredit to the Secret Service.”
He said that “tighter processes” have been put in place to limit future access to private information stored at the agency.