Secret Service agent kills self amid affair probe

Secret Service agent kills self amid affair probe

 

 

By ALICIA A. CALDWELL

Associated Press – 2 hrs 45 mins ago

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly six years, a senior Secret Service agent kept his extramarital affair with a Mexican woman a secret from the agency responsible for protecting the president.

 

But in the wake of an embarrassing prostitution scandal involving 13 agents and officers, Rafael Prieto’s secret was revealed by a fellow employee amid concerns that the Secret Service wasn’t enforcing its rules consistently.

 

With an internal investigation ongoing, Prieto apparently committed suicide last week. That’s according to people familiar with the matter. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Prieto’s death or the investigation, which they say has focused on whether Prieto violated agency rules that require disclosing relationships with foreigners.

 

They say Prieto, a married father, admitted the years-long relationship when confronted by investigators.

 

Source: Secret Service agent dead of apparent suicide

 

By Carol Cratty, CNN

 

updated 11:04 PM EDT, Thu November 1, 2012

 

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

 

• Rafael Prieto was a 20-year veteran of the Secret Service

 

• He was assigned to President Obama’s protective detail

 

• Authorities were looking into a suspected long-term relationship with a foreign national

 

• A law enforcement source says his death last Saturday was an apparent suicide

 

Washington (CNN) — A Secret Service agent suspected of having a romantic relationship with a Mexican woman is dead of an apparent suicide, a law enforcement official told CNN Thursday.

 

The source said Rafael Prieto, 48, was assigned to President Obama’s protective detail.

 

The Secret Service confirmed Thursday that Prieto’s death last Saturday is currently being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, along with the medical examiner’s office. No official determination of death has been made.

 

Prieto’s access to Secret Service facilities had been suspended while authorities were looking into his apparently unreported and long-term relationship with a foreign national, the law enforcement official said.

 

“There is nothing to indicate that any classified or sensitive information was compromised as a result of this relationship,” according to the source.

 

The official said Prieto was involved in an “administrative process” about his connection with the woman but that he was not under investigation by the Secret Service’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

 

Prieto could have been in violation of Secret Service protocols if he had not informed superiors about a personal relationship with a foreign national. Such relationships came under a spotlight after agents sent to Cartagena, Colombia, in advance of President Obama’s trip earlier this year spent time partying with prostitutes.

 

“Rafael Prieto had a distinguished 20-year career with the Secret Service that was marked by accomplishment, dedication, and friendships,” said Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan. “The Secret Service is mourning the loss of a valued colleague.”

 

 

 

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About vincepalamara

Vincent Palamara was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in Sociology. Although not even born when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Vince brings fresh eyes to an old case. In fact, Vince would go on to study the largely overlooked actions - and inactions - of the United States Secret Service in unprecedented detail, as well as achieving a world's record in the process, having interviewed and corresponded with over seventy former agents (the House Select Committee on Assassinations had the old record of 46 with a 6 million dollar budget and supboena power from Congress), not to mention many surviving family members, White House aides, and even quite a few Parkland and Bethesda medical witnesses for a corresponding project. The result was Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect President Kennedy. Vince is also the author of the upcoming book JFK: From Parkland To Bethesda. All told, Vince has been favorably mentioned in over 80 JFK and Secret Service related books to date (including two whole chapters in Murder in Dealey Plaza, The Secret Service: The Hidden History Of An Enigmatic Agency by Philip Melanson, and the Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board, among many others), often at length, in the bibliographies, and in the Secret Service - and even medical evidence - areas of these works. Vince has appeared on the History Channel, C-SPAN, National Geographic, PCN, BPTV, local cable access television, YouTube, radio, newspapers, print journals, at national conferences, and all over the internet. Also, Vince's original research materials, or copies of said materials, are stored in the National Archives (by request under Deed Of Gift by the ARRB), the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Harvard University, the Assassination Archives and Research Center, and the Dallas Public Library. Vince Palamara has become known (as he was dubbed by the History Channel in 2003) "the Secret Service expert." As former JFK Secret Service agent Joe Paolella proclaimed: "You seem to know a lot about the Secret Service, maybe even more than I do!" Agent Dan Emmett calls Vince a Secret Service expert in his new book.
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