The resignation of Secret Service director Mark Sullivan was announced a short time ago, marking the retirement of the agency’s third-longest serving director.
Sullivan, who will step down Feb. 22, was at the helm of the agency during last year’s scandal of agents cavorting with prostitutes in Colombia. He became director in 2006.
“I want to thank Mark Sullivan for nearly 30 years of service to our nation at the United States Secret Service, a tenure that saw the agency protect five first families including my own,” President Obama said, noting Sullivan started in the Detroit field office before joining the Presidential Protective Division.
“The Secret Service is best known for protecting our nation’s leaders, but every day they also protect the American people. From securing large events such as Presidential Inaugurations to safeguarding our financial system, the men and women of the agency perform their mission with professionalism and dedication,” Obama said. “That is a testament to Mark and his steadfast leadership, which will be missed.”
“I wish Director Sullivan the best in his future endeavors,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). “When controversy occurred in his agency, he took swift action and responded to oversight with direct and forthright answers. This enhanced his credibility, allowing Congress and the American people to remain confident in his agency’s ability to effectively do its job.”
Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said Sullivan was “committed to the men and women he led everyday and to his agency’s important mission.”
“He was also instrumental in the agency’s collaboration with state and local officials on investigating and preventing cyber crime, and I hope his successor will continue this critical initiative,” Carper said.
Sullivan apologized at a May hearing for the “really dumb things” agents did in Cartegena.
“I am deeply disappointed, and I apologize for the misconduct of these employees and the distraction that it has caused,” he said. “The men and women of the U.S. Secret Service are committed to continuing to uphold the standards that the president, the Congress and the American people expect and deserve.”
Sullivan previously was under fire after party crashers Michaele and Tareq Salahi slipped into a 2009 state dinner under the Secret Service’s nose.