April 19, 2012 21:04:00
WASHINGTON — One of the Secret Service supervisors who was ousted from the agency this week for his involvement in the Colombia prostitution scandal made light of his official protective work on his Facebook page, joking about a picture of himself standing watch behind Sarah Palin.
David Randall Chaney, 48, posted several shots of himself on duty in a dark suit and sunglasses, including one that shows him behind the former Republican vice presidential nominee during her 2008 campaign.
“I was really checking her out, if you know what i mean?” Chaney wrote in the comments section after friends had marveled at the photo. He is married and has an adult son.
Chaney, who had been a supervisor in the Secret Service’s international programs division, retired under pressure Wednesday, according to people familiar with an internal agency investigation into the allegations that 11 agents and uniformed officers had participated in a night of carousing April 11 ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to the Summit of the Americas.
He was one of two senior supervisors who are accused in the scandal, which investigators believe included heavy drinking, visits to a strip club and payments to women working as prostitutes. Several people familiar with the matter have identified the other supervisor as Greg Stokes, who was assistant special agent in charge of the K-9 division. Stokes has been notified by agency officials that he will be fired, though he will be given an opportunity to contest the charges, those with knowledge of the case said.
The disclosure that two high-level managers were involved in the misconduct has raised questions of accountability and personal conduct in an agency whose top leadership has insisted that the Cartagena incident is an isolated and aberrant case, not a sign of a deeper cultural problem within the institution.
Chaney and Stokes have each worked at the Secret Service for nearly two decades, and both have served significant time with the presidential protection detail, people who know the men said. Both are based in Washington.
The supervisors were sent on the trip to supervise dozens of younger, less-experienced agents who were part of the advance team preparing for Obama’s arrival.
Lawrence Berger, the general counsel for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and an attorney for Chaney and Stokes, declined to comment on details of the allegations involving his clients. He said the agency’s investigation is not complete for either man and stressed that any judgment about their roles in the scandal is “premature.”
“It’s our ultimate position that nothing they may or may not have done in Colombia negatively impacted the efficiency of their mission,” Berger said. “Nothing that has been reported to have been done has impacted negatively on their mission or the president’s visit.”
Capitol Hill lawmakers who have been briefed on the matter have said 21 men are suspected of bringing as many as 21 prostitutes to their rooms. Ten military members also have been accused of participating, along with the 11 Secret Service personnel.
The incident became public after one man got into a dispute over payment with a woman on the morning of April 12, drawing the attention of hotel staff and Colombian authorities, who reported the matter to the U.S. Embassy.
The Secret Service recalled its 11 employees and replaced them with another team before Obama arrived April 13. All were placed on administrative leave and had their top-secret security clearances revoked.
The Secret Service announced Wednesday that three of the men were being dismissed from the agency for their involvement. Along with Chaney and Stokes, the third man is a junior member of the team who has elected to voluntarily resign, those familiar with the investigation said.
Berger did not answer questions about his clients’ employment status.
“They have a passion for the agency’s mission,” he said. “They’ve both been doing it for over 17 or 18 years, day in and day out, and very well.”
On Thursday, Capitol Hill lawmakers who oversee the Homeland Security Department said they expected more resignations and firings in the case. Rep. Peter T. King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the 11 agents involved in the scandal underwent drug tests and polygraph exams. Agency investigators in Colombia have visited all of the hotels where Secret Service personnel stayed and have interviewed each of the maids who cleaned rooms in the Hotel Caribe, King said.
People who know the two supervisors have described Chaney’s duties in the international programs division as supervising a department that provides support and administrative help to the agency’s foreign offices. Stokes has been described as the assistant special agent in charge of the K-9 training division at the James J. Rowley Training Center in Beltsville, Md.
Attempts to reach both men were unsuccessful. Calls made to Chaney’s home and cell phone and to Stokes’ home were not returned. No one answered the door when a reporter visited Chaney’s home in Northern Virginia. Outside, a silver 4×4 Ford pickup was parked, bearing stickers with a colorful outline of Texas, Chaney’s home state, and the mantra “SECEDE.”
A relative of Chaney said she would relay a message to him.
The commitment to the Secret Service runs deep in Chaney’s family. His father, George Washington Chaney, was a Secret Service agent in President John Kennedy’s era and knew the agents on his detail when Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
The elder Chaney had remarked to friends that he started at the service working “diaper duty,” where he watched President Dwight Eisenhower’s children and grandchildren in Gettysburg, Pa., and also met his wife. Later, he traveled to work in Dallas, where he was on President Lyndon Johnson’s protective detail. He also served a stint in the service’s El Paso office and then became the agent in charge of personnel in the District of Columbia headquarters, where he was working when Kennedy was shot.
He retired in 1977 and started a new line of work as a document examiner in Dallas, where he and his wife, “Toddie,” raised their five children.
On David Chaney’s Facebook page, he posted several shots of himself with Palin.
In one picture, he is wearing a dark suit and sunglasses, standing near a black vehicle behind Palin as she approaches a crowd. In the comments section next to the photo, a friend remarked that Chaney appeared to be “lurking in the shadows” behind Palin.
Another kidded that there seemed to be “real chemistry” between the two.
Chaney posted: “I was really checking her out, if you know what i mean?”
Another friend asked if one of the buttons on Palin’s lapel was emblazoned with Chaney’s face.
“well if it was could you blame her, anything to satisfy a stalker,” Chaney wrote in his reply.
In another set of Facebook photos, Chaney documents a trip he took with his grown son to Egypt. One photo shows a voluptuous belly dancer in a revealing bikini-like top and tight, sequined skirt positioned between him and his son.
“Not in front of my son,” Chaney joked in the comments section.
One current agent, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation, said both Chaney and Stokes were respected, well-liked agents and supervisors, who were both quick to offer advice and mentor younger agents and officers.
“I was just completely shocked to hear they were involved,” the agent said.
DALLAS (CBSDFW) – David Chaney spent his career protecting some of the world’s most influential politicians. On Chaney’s public Facebook page, readers can find pictures of him standing watch over former Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin.
Secret Service Agent, David Chaney, stands watch over Sarah Palin. (Courtesy: Facebook)
The 48-year-old is now trying to protect himself from a scandal involving prostitutes. Chaney and 10 other Secret Service Agents are accused of hiring prostitutes last week in Colombia, just prior to President Barack Obama’s arrival to Cartagena.
Chaney, a supervisor with the Secret Service, was allowed to retire in the wake of the scandal. Another agent was removed from his position, while a third resigned. Eight other secret service agents remain under investigation.
Chaney grew up in Dallas and graduated in 1982 from W.T. White High School in North Dallas.
David Chaney (courtesy: Facebook)
His father, George Chaney, was a career secret Service Agent serving under President Dwight Eisenhower and President Lyndon Johnson. George Chaney passed away last year at the age of 86.
Chaney’s mother, Margaret “Toddie” Whitaker Chaney, still resides in Dallas and so does his sister, Devon Nassif.
CBS 11 News spoke briefly with Nassif outside her north Dallas home, but she declined to comment about her brother.
Ousted Secret Service agent posted pictures of Sarah Palin on Facebook
- Greg Stokes and David Chaney are no longer with the Secret Service, a source says
- They were the two supervisors with the Secret Service members in Colombia
- Chaney posted photos and comments about Sarah Palin on Facebook
- “I hope his wife sends him to the doghouse,” Palin says
Washington (CNN) — As officials warn of more Secret Service resignations as soon as Friday stemming from a prostitute scandal in Colombia, one of the former agents allegedly involved joked on Facebook that he checked out former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin while on assignment during the 2008 campaign.
David Chaney and Greg Stokes are the two Secret Service supervisors no longer with the agency in the wake of the incident immediately preceding President Barack Obama’s trip to Colombia for the Summit of the Americas, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN National Security Contributor Fran Townsend on Thursday.
In a photo posted on his public Facebook page in January 2009, Chaney is seen standing behind Palin, wearing dark glasses and what appears be a wedding ring. Under the photo, Chaney posted a comment that said, “I was really checking her out, if you know what I mean?” That comment drew a strong response from Palin Thursday night.
“This agent who was kind of ridiculous there in posting pictures and comments about checking someone out,” Palin said on Fox News. “Check this out, bodyguard. You’re fired! And I hope his wife sends him to the doghouse.”
Secret Service agents’ risky behavior
Wheels up, rings off at Secret Service?
Congress wants answers about sex scandal
Attorney Lawrence Berger told CNN that he is representing Chaney and Stokes, but declined further comment, including why he is representing the two men. Berger is general counsel for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, a union that includes the Secret Service, among other agencies.
Authorities outside Chaney’s home in Ashburn, Virginia, said that Chaney had relayed that he did not want to speak to reporters outside.
Chaney, a son of a Secret Service agent, has been employed with the U.S. Secret Service since 1987, according to his posting on Reunion.com. That message notes that he is married, has an adopted son and his assignments include a stint protecting former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Stokes supervised the canine training unit at the Secret Service’s James J. Rowley Training Center outside Washington, according to PetLife Radio and a career development posting on the University of Maryland’s website.
The agency has said that one of those who left the agency is a supervisory employee who is being allowed to retire. Another employee resigned, the agency said. A third agent — also a supervisory employee — is being pushed out, with the agency proposing his removal. A U.S. official said on condition of not being identified that this agent plans to fight his ouster. It was not immediately clear whether this person was Chaney or Stokes.
The other eight members allegedly involved in the scandal are on administrative leave and have had their security clearances suspended, according to the Secret Service. Ten military personnel are also being investigated for their possible participation.
They were all part of the “jump team” that flies in on military transport planes with the presidential limousine and other vehicles to be used in the president’s motorcade, Townsend said.
They arrived the morning of the incident, raising questions about whether the activity was planned.
All the employees are accused of bringing prostitutes to Cartagena’s Hotel El Caribe ahead of last week’s visit by Obama, who was there to attend the Pan-American summit.
According to sources, the alleged prostitutes — the youngest of whom were in their early 20s — had all signed in at the hotel, where the Secret Service members apparently stayed, flashing their local ID cards.
One of these women allegedly was later involved in a dispute about how much she was to be paid for the night, which brought the entire incident to light and sparked controversy in the United States and Colombia.
Despite concerns that contact with Colombian nationals could have led to security breaches regarding President Barack Obama’s activities in the South American nation, King said, “from everything we know, nothing was compromised.”
Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe told CNN on Thursday that he rejects “the idea that Cartagena is a destination for tourists seeking prostitution or illicit drugs.” He said the incident is due entirely to “a lack of ethics (on the part of) the Secret Service of the United States.”
Members of the U.S. Congress offered similarly biting remarks.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California called the allegations “disgusting,” while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid described the agents’ alleged actions as “either really stupid or a total lack of common sense.”
At least five investigations have, or will soon, be launched as a result.
In addition to the Secret Service employees, five members of America’s elite Army Special Forces, or Green Berets, plus two people from the Navy, two from the Marines and one from the Air Force are being questioned, a U.S. official said.
The Green Berets’ failure to make curfew the night of the incident involving the Secret Service agents led the military to start its own investigation, a U.S. official told CNN. Officials said they are based at Eglin Air Force Base, in Florida’s Panhandle, and belong to the 7th Special Forces Group, which operates mostly in Central and South America.
All the military personnel are being investigated for heavy drinking and use of prostitutes while in Colombia as part of the support team for Obama’s visit, the official said.
They are not likely to redeploy until the matter is resolved, other military officials said, though no formal order bars their deployment.
The military investigation could end with no action, administrative action like a letter of reprimand or a recommendation to proceed with criminal charges, officials said.
While soliciting prostitution is in most cases legal for adults in Colombia, it is considered a breach of the Secret Service’s conduct code, government sources said. Military law also bars service members from patronizing prostitutes, engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer or, for enlisted personnel, conduct “prejudicial to good order and discipline.”
CNN’s Brian Todd, Bob Kovach, John King, Barbara Starr, Dana Bash, Deirdre Walsh, Rafael Romo, Jessica Yellin and Tom Cohen contributed to this report.
David Randall Chaney and Greg Stokes, Secret Service supervisors ousted in prostitution scandal
More Secret Service agents could be fired Friday in a prostitution scandal as new details emerge about two U.S. agents who have lost their jobs.
- David Chaney made the comment on a photo of Palin that he posted on his Facebook page in January 2009. (Photo: ABC7)
The Washington Post reports that the two Secret Service supervisors who were forced out this week have been identified as David Randall Chaney and Greg Stokes, both based in Washington.
“Chaney, who had been a supervisor in the Secret Service’s international programs division, retired under pressure Wednesday, according to people familiar with an internal agency investigation,” the Post reports.
Chaney reportedly joked on his Facebook page that he was “really checking her out” as he protected former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin while working on her security detail during the 2008 campaign.
David Chaney made the comment on a photo of Palin that showed him standing the background posted on his Facebook page in January 2009.
Speaking to Fox News, Palin said the scandal is “a symptom of government run amok.”
Stokes, identified as the assistant special agent in charge of the K9 division, was told that he would be fired.
According to the Post, “Chaney and Stokes have each worked at the Secret Service for nearly two decades, and both have served significant time with the presidential protection detail, people who know the men said.”
First images of call girl in Secret Service sex scandal emerge
By HARRISON HERNANDEZ in Cartagena, Colombia, S.A MILLER in Washington DC & CHUCK BENNETT in NY
Last Updated: 7:11 AM, April 20, 2012
Posted: 1:37 AM, April 20, 2012
This is the hooker who made the Secret Service look like boobs.
Photos emerged yesterday of the Colombian call girl who sparked the escalating prostitution scandal by refusing to get cheated by a tight-fisted agent — and she’s a total knockout.
Dania Londono Suarez expected $800 in cash for her evening with the presidential bodyguard and threw a fit that became an international incident when he offered only a measly $30.
Photos on her Facebook page show that the busty, raven-haired single mom is anything but shy — and not ashamed to shake her maracas. In one image posted on her page, she rocks a skimpy cloth bikini, hand on hip.
Suarez, 24, became the center of the Secret Service scandal when the agents’ partying in Cartagena before President Obama’s arrival for a summit became a White House embarrassment.
After being propositioned by a still-unidentified Secret Service agent, Suarez spent a few hours in his room at the Hotel Caribe, a source close to the investigation said.
But when it was time for her to go, her john offered her an insulting $30. She refused and sparked a row that ultimately involved local cops and other agents, blowing the lid off the agents’ night of passion.
Suarez settled for $225.
“It was the first time this ever happened to her,” taxi driver José Pena, who drove her home after the incident, told The Post.
Neighbors in her upscale Cartagena neighborhood were shocked to learn she was involved in legal prostitution.
“She didn’t look like someone who was into that kind of lifestyle,” one neighbor said of Suarez, who was not at home yesterday. “But we respect her either way.”
Some 11 Secret Service agents, officers and supervisors and about 10 US military-service members assigned to presidential security brought as many as 23 escorts to their rooms on April 12, investigators have said.
The names of two ousted supervising agents — David Chaney and Greg Stokes — emerged yesterday as the first identified players in the still-burgeoning scandal.
Chaney was forced to retire and Stokes got canned, according to reports.
Chaney, 48, posted Facebook pictures of himself on the job, The Washington Post reported. In one shot, he stands behind GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in 2008 — with more than work in mind.
“I was really checking her out, if you know what i mean,” Chaney wrote in the comments under the shot.
In a Fox News interview last night, Palin said the joke is on Chaney. “Well, check this out, buddy — you’re fired!” she cracked.