U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned yesterday following recent events involving a fence jumper who gained access to the White House on September 19th.
Homeland Security Director Jeh Johnson accepted Piersonâ€™s resignation. Pierson served with the Secret Service for over 30 years and was the first female director. According to a statement released by DHS, Joseph Clancy has been appointed as the interim Acting Director of the Secret Service. Clancy retired from the Secret Service in 2011 and has been working in the private sector since.
The Deputy Secretary of DHS Alejandro Mayorkas and DHS General Counsel will assume control and direction of the ongoing inquiry by the Secret Service of the fence jumping incident.Â The completed review will be submitted to Director Johnson by November 1.
The incident on September 19 involved a man carrying a knife who scaled the fence on the north side of the White House complex. The man, identified as Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, of Copperas Cove, TX. It was previously reported that the man was physically apprehended after entering the White House North Portico doors. Later reports revealed the intruder was apprehended in the East Room of the White House. In addition to the criminal investigation of Gonzalez by the Secret Service’s Washington Field Office, Pierson ordered the Secret Service’s Office of Professional Responsibility to conduct a comprehensive after action review of the incident.
On Tuesday, Pierson testified on Capital Hill regarding the incident. During her testimony, Pierson revealed other security lapses involving the Secret Service including allowing an armed individual to ride on an elevator with President Obama in Atlanta.
Director Johnson is also formulating a panel of independent experts to review recent issues concerning the Secret Service. By December 15, 2014, the panel will submit to its own assessment and recommendations concerning security of the White House compound, according to DHS.
The panel will also submit recommendations for potential new directors of the Secret Service and advise whether there should be a review of broader issues concerning the Secret Service.
Recently, the Secret Service protected President Obama and 140 visiting heads of state or government at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. The Secret Service also handled the protection of 60 world leaders for the African Summit.