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Agents Protecting Obama Abroad Sent Home For Disciplinary Reasons

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[March 26, 2014]  WASHINGTON (Reuters)  Three members of the U.S. Secret Service detail that protects President Barack Obama were sent home from Amsterdam for disciplinary reasons, a Secret Service spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

The spokesman, Brian Leary, declined to provide further details.

The agents were disciplined after going out for a night of drinking, the Washington Post reported. One of the agents was found drunk and passed out in a hotel hallway a day before the president arrived in Europe, said the Post, which first reported the incident, citing three people familiar with it.

None of the agents were supervisors, a Secret Service source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The incident comes despite efforts by the agency to restore its straight-laced reputation after a scandal involving prostitutes in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2012.

A report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's inspector general released in December urged tougher management and disciplinary standards and recommended that the service monitor and address excessive alcohol consumption and personal conduct within its workforce.

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The IG also urged strengthening and clarifying policies for dealing with misconduct and disciplining employees.

The agency named a female director, Julia Pierson, in March 2013 after the Colombia events.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; editing by Ken Wills)

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