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Breach in Secret Service leads to resignation of Julia Pierson

by MARIAH THOMPSON Section Editor

Jeh Johnson announced the resignation of Julia Pierson, the director of the United States Secret Service, on October 1.

Two major incidents have occurred since the announcement of her resignation, which led to a lot of criticism against the Secret Service.

“Unfortunately, they are failing to do their job,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah said. “These are good men and women, but the Secret Service leadership has a lot of questions to answer.”

Earlier in September of this year, President Obama rode an elevator while visiting the Centers for Disease Control with an armed and former convict inside.

During a trip to Atlanta to discuss Ebola, Obama rode in an elevator with a contractor who also happened to be a former convicted felon. The contractor began to videotape the president inside the elevator even after Secret Service demanded him to stop. They then ran a database check on him and discovered his criminal record.

The security contractor was convicted on charges of assault and battery three times.

These revelations arose on September 30.

Sophomore Alannah McCourt said, “I think it is ridiculous that this story is just coming out. The safety of our president is very important and should not be taken lightly. He should not have been allowed inside the elevator with Mr. Obama with that criminal record.”

On September 19, another breach occurred in the security of the president. Omar Gonzalez of Texas was able to jump the White House fence and get into the East Room after sprinting across the whole yard before being stopped.

After being searched, Gonzalez was found carrying a knife and 800 rounds of ammunition inside his car.

Just prior to the intruder entering, Obama and his two daughters had left the premises.

The Texas man pleaded not guilty on October 1, but a federal judge arranged for mental testing.

“I do not understand how this man was able to jump the fence and then run across the whole yard until he was caught. This just shows how bad the security is at the White House. It also could show other people how easy it is for them to get into our White House,” sophomore Drew Dale said.

In March of 2013, Pierson took the place as director of Secret Service to help the agency after many of its members were involved in a Colombian prostitution scandal. While in Colombia, Secret Service members brought prostitutes back to their hotel, but were caught after one agent and prostitute fought. Nine members left or lost their jobs.

However, Pierson struggled to control the actions of the Secret Service, leading to her resignation.

“It is obvious that mistakes were made. I take full responsibility. What happened is unacceptable. It will never happen again,” Pierson said to lawmakers.

Pierson was the first-female director for less than two years, but gave 30 years of service to the government.

Do you think Julia Pierson made the right decision to step down? Why or why not?

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