US Secret Service chief Mark Sullivan to retire
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The head of the Secret Service - the police agency that protects Amerian President Barack Obama - is retiring, a spokesman said on Friday, less than a year after the elite squad was hit by a sex scandal.
Mr Mark Sullivan is "retiring as of the 22nd of February", Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary told AFP, noting he had overseen 23 national security events, including Mr Obama's inaugurations in 2009 and 2013.
Mr Sullivan, who took up his post in May 2006, saw the end of his term marked by a series of setbacks, including a prostitution scandal that erupted last April as agents helped prepare Mr Obama's visit to a summit in the Colombian port city of Cartagena. Nine officers subsequently resigned or retired.
Hundreds of Secret Service agents typically travel with, or before Obama when he goes overseas, in a huge security retinue.