Secret Service Chief Clancy Announces Retirement

Joseph Clancy was summoned back from the private sector to lead the agency after a string of embarrassing incidents. Joseph Clancy was summoned back from the private sector to lead the agency after a string of embarrassing incidents. Andrew Harnik/AP file photo

The Secret Service chief brought in by former President Obama to repair the agency following a string of incidents of agent misbehavior announced his retirement on Tuesday, Government Executive has confirmed.

The move, announced first during a CNN interview and posted by the agency on Twitter, comes two years after Joseph Clancy’s summons back from private-sector work to reform the agency following such mishaps as agents caught patronizing prostitutes during a 2012 presidential trip to Colombia. There were also two agents who, soon after Clancy’s arrival, drunkenly drove a government vehicle through the space of an active bomb investigation at a White House gate.

Lawmakers immediately summoned Clancy to a hearing in which they demanded that he reform management so as to be able to fire more employees. Clancy said, “I didn’t come back from private industry to just enjoy the ride. Unfortunately I don’t have a magic wand. It’s going to take a bit of time.”

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The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in December 2015 released a report “An Agency in Crisis,” and a year later, the service saw its employee engagement scores drop in the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. It also was placed among the worst agencies in the Partnership for Public Service’s “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” rankings.

Oversight panel Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, was first out of the box to comment on Clancy’s decision:

"I appreciate Director Clancy's dedicated service to this country,” Chaffetz said in a statement. “He took on the difficult task of returning to and taking over an agency plagued with mismanagement, misconduct and security lapses” and worked to implement the House committee’s reform recommendations.

"Moving forward, I encourage President Trump to appoint a director from outside the agency,” Chaffetz said. “A fresh set of eyes and new perspective is needed to restore the prestige and status expected of such an elite agency."

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