A member of the U.S. Secret Service stands watch at the White House.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty

Secret Service agents were ‘likely’ impaired by alcohol: Watchdog

WASHINGTON — Two senior Secret Service agents were “more likely than not” impaired by alcohol when they drove a government vehicle through a secure area at the White House earlier this year, a government watchdog concluded in a report released late Wednesday.

Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth found that Marc Connolly and George Ogilvie spent about five hours at a bar during and after a retirement party for a colleague and ran up a “significant” bar tab before driving to the White House on March 4. Their tab included eight glasses of scotch, two vodka drinks, three beers and a glass of wine.

Connolly, the deputy special agent in charge of the Presidential Protection Division, announced his retirement in advance of the report’s release. Ogilvie, the assistant special agent in charge of the agency’s Washington field office, has been placed on administrative leave, the agency said Wednesday.

Both men denied being drunk and told investigators they only had a few of the drinks over the course of the night. Ogilvie said some of the drinks on his tab, including five glasses of scotch, were given to other people at the bar, though he could not recall who received the drinks.

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy said Wednesday he was “disappointed and disturbed at the apparent lack of judgment described in this report. Behavior of the type described in the report is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

Related: WH fence jumper arrested

Roth’s report said Ogilvie was driving and Connolly was his passenger when Ogilvie drove his government-owned vehicle into the secured zone where on-duty Secret Service officials were investigating a suspicious package that had been left in the White House complex by a fleeing driver.

Roth said officers at the scene didn’t smell alcohol on either Ogilvie or Connolly, but three officers thought something was “not right” about the pair.

No field sobriety tests were given that night and both men were allowed to drive their government vehicles home from the White House.

Roth concluded that both agents “displayed poor judgment and a lack of institutional awareness” and “more likely than not both Connolly and Ogilvie’s judgment was impaired by alcohol.”

- The Associated Press

Secret Service and White House

Secret Service agents were 'likely' impaired by alcohol: Watchdog