Secret Service Said to Probe Sex Allegations in El Salvador

The U.S. Secret Service is investigating the accuracy of a news report saying agents paid for “sexual favors” in an El Salvador strip club and brought escorts to their hotel rooms prior to a visit by President Barack Obama last year, an agency official said.

The report, by Seattle television station KIRO, quoted an unidentified witness saying he joined the agents at the club in San Salvador in the days before President Barack Obama arrived in March 2011.

The agency official, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, declined to provide additional details about the probe.

The agency has come under scrutiny after 12 employees were linked to a prostitution scandal that occurred in Cartagena, Colombia, before a visit by Obama earlier this month. Nine of those employees are leaving the agency or are being forced out.

“The recent investigation in Cartagena has generated several news stories that contain allegations by mostly unnamed sources,” said Max Milien, a Secret Service spokesman in a statement. “Any information brought to our attention that can be assessed as credible will be followed up on in an appropriate manner.”

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano yesterday told the Senate Judiciary Committee she knew of no other incidents.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Bliss in Washington at jbliss@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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