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US Drug Agency Chief Resigns Amid Scandal

US Drug Agency Chief Resigns Amid ScandalUS Drug Agency Chief Resigns Amid Scandal

The director of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Michele Leonhart, will step down next month, amid allegations that the DEA agent attended parties with prostitutes, some funded by local drug cartels.

DEA chief since 2007, Leonhart had been facing growing pressure to resign from members of Congress, who had questioned her judgment and competence in the wake of the scandal revelations,. Leonhart will leave the DEA in mid-May, DW reported.

A group of lawmakers charged that Leonhart was “woefully unable to change” the culture at the DEA following a Justice Department report that found agents attended scandalous parties in Colombia with prostitutes reportedly hired by a drug cartel.

The parties took place between 2001 and 2005, but officials said the DEA did not investigate the misconduct until years later.

A congressional hearing last week raised questions among lawmakers that DEA agents may have leaked sensitive information about their investigations as a result of taking part in the parties.

“It is incredibly concerning that, according to the DEA itself, there is a clear possibility that information was compromised as a result of these incidents,” Democrat Elijah Cummings said in an interview.

A congressional oversight committee said they had lost confidence in Leonhart and said that “she lacks the authority and will to make the tough decisions required to hold those accountable who compromise national security and bring disgrace to their positions.”

The report followed revelations of a similar scandal in the US Secret Service that saw agents hiring prostitutes in Cartegena, Colombia in advance of a presidential visit.

 

Financialtribune.com