Secret Service officer arrested after Obama trip
Officer was not on duty when he was found unresponsive on a sidewalk near a popular nightlife area
By David Fischer and Alicia A. Caldwell
MIAMI — In the latest embarrassing spectacle for the Secret Service, one of its officers was found passed out and apparently drunk on a Miami street corner less than 12 hours after President Barack left the city following a day trip to campaign, police in Florida said.
Aaron Francis Engler, an officer with the storied agency's uniformed division, was not on duty when he was found unresponsive on a sidewalk near a popular nightlife area in downtown Miami about 7 a.m. Engler was in Miami in a support role for Obama's trip, which included an afternoon campaign rally at the University of Miami and an evening fundraiser. His exact duties during Obama's visit were unclear, but he was not part of the president's personal security detail.
Edwin Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, said the case will be turned over to the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility, which investigates allegations of wrongdoing by Secret Service employees.
This is the second alcohol-related incident for the agency in the last six months. In April, 13 officers and agents were implicated in a prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, in advance of Obama's arrival for a South American summit.
After a night of partying in some of Cartagena's bars and clubs, the employees brought women, including prostitutes, back to the Hotel Caribe, where the employees were staying. The event became public after one agent refused to pay a prostitute and the two had an argument in the hotel hallway.
Eight of the Secret Service employees have been forced out of the agency, three were cleared of serious misconduct and at least two employees are fighting to get their jobs back.
The incident prompted Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan to issue a new code of conduct that included barring employees from drinking within 10 hours of the start of a shift.
It is unclear when Engler was scheduled to work again. He did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment.
In August, a Secret Service agent left a gun in the bathroom of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's campaign plane and a reporter found the weapon. The Secret Service said the agent was assigned to Romney's security detail.
Miami police say Engler was arrested on two misdemeanor charges and released to members of the Secret Service's Miami field office. It's unclear where he is based.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press