Tag Archives: dysfunctional Secret Service

Secret Service agent who refused to protect Trump is a rabid feminist

No surprise there.

Secret Service agents are supposed to guard and protect (“take the bullet”) the President of the United States with their life.

Kerry O’Grady is a senior Secret Service agent at the Denver, CO office.

In 2016, O’Grady wrote on her personal Facebook page that, if Trump was elected POTUS, she would rather face “jail time” than take “a bullet” for him because she considered him a “disaster” for America, especially as it relates to women and children.

After the media reported her anti-Trump comments, she said in an interview and written statement that the Facebook post should not be taken literally and that she would in no way shirk her duties to protect the president because of her opposition to his presidency and her support for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. An internal Secret Service misconduct investigation led to her forced departure from the Denver office, where she hasn’t been seen since, although she remains on the payroll.

Now we know what O’Grady has been doing with her free time.

Susan Crabtree reports for The Washington Free Beacon, Jan. 10, 2019, that for a second year, O’Grady is helping organize a “Womxn’s” March on Denver on January 19 as a member of the event’s executive leadership team, according to the march’s website.

The website says organizers included an “x” in the word “woman,” “because we believe in equity and we act with purpose to make space for trans, non-binary and genderqueer persons in our name.”

O’Grady bio on the march’s website says:

Kerry O’Grady spent 25 years as a special agent in the mostly white, male-dominated field of federal law enforcement. She is a witness to the fact that institutionalized disparities and unconscious biases continue to prevent women and minorities from obtaining equality in the workplace and in the criminal justice system. She is determined to use her privilege and energy to mobilize around a movement that uplifts women and strives to dismantle systems of oppressions.

Although the premier group for retired agents, the Former Agents U.S. Secret Service, expelled her from the ranks of associate members, O’Grady appears to remain on the Secret Service payroll and continues to live in Denver. Multiple sources close to the Secret Service told the Washington Free Beacon that although she has been sidelined from her previous role as the head of the Denver office, her name still appears on an internal agency “locator” of all active Secret Service agents and their contact information without any type of restriction or qualifier.

In recent months, she crowed to other agents that she “beat” the Secret Service’s misconduct charges for her anti-Trump Facebook posts and that she plans to retire within the next 60 to 90 days. According to Truthfinder, Kerry O’Grady is only 48 years old.

Congressional leaders have recently faulted other Department of Homeland Security agencies for the use of paid and unpaid leave to allow favored employees facing substantiated claims of misconduct to remain long enough to attain full retirement benefits.

Outgoing Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) last week released the results of a nearly four-year investigation into the U.S. Marshals Service, an agency where a flood of Secret Service agents have transferred in recent years. The new report specifically criticized the U.S. Marshals Service for allowing employees with substantiated misconduct to remain on paid or unpaid leave long enough to reach key retirement dates. Grassley said the probe uncovered a culture of misconduct that echoed similar problems his committee and others have uncovered at the Secret Service.

The Hatch Act is a federal law that restricts certain federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity. But according to Sean Bigley, a partner at Bigley Ranish, a firm specializing in federal employment cases and security-clearance denials, O’Grady’s involvement in the Womxn’s March would probably pass legal muster. He said: “A government employee speaking in their capacity as a private citizen on a matter of public concern generally retains their First Amendment rights. But if she were speaking about matters that were of direct bearing on her employment and her job duties—speech that was disruptive in the workplace, for example—her agency would have more latitude to restrict that speech or prevent it and discipline her for that.”

Bigley also said O’Grady’s paid administrative leave is rare because all of his Secret Service clients facing misconduct charges were placed on unpaid administrative leave.

Echoing Bigley, Cheri Cannon, a partner at the law firm Tully Rickey, said Secret Service managers often impose unpaid leave and revoke security clearances in misconduct cases in order to force a person to quit rather than go through the lengthy appeals process to try to get their security clearance reinstated.

The Secret Service declined to comment about O’Grady’s employment status or any other matter related to her, nor did O’Grady respond to an email to her Secret Service email address seeking comment.


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U.S. Secret Service in disarray

On September 19, 2014, an intruder, armed with a knife, jumped the White House fence and made it as far into the mansion as the East Room before being tackled by an off-duty agent. (See Steve’s post on the intruder here.)

Fortunately (or unfortunately), the POS wasn’t there.

Julia PiersonJulia Pierson at House hearing, Sept. 30, 2014.

Yesterday (Oct. 1), after her appearance at a brutal House hearing the day before,  in which she was grilled by Republicans and Democrats on how the intruder could have gotten as far as inside the White House, director of the Secret Service Julia Pierson, 55, resigned under pressure.
To make matters worse, Pierson did not tell the White House of a security failure in Atlanta last month when an armed man was allowed to ride in an elevator with Obama at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pierson informed Obama about the incident only minutes before it was reported in the news media on Tuesday (Sept. 30) evening. (New York Times)
Pierson is merely the tip of the iceberg of a Secret Service that’s in disarray, plagued by low morale, over work, staffing shortages, and the agents’ resentment at and “lack of faith” in their bureaucratic superiors, including “their senior-most leaders” — an oblique reference to the president himself.
Carol Leonnig reports for The Washington Post, Oct. 1, 2014:

The 6,700-member agency, long an élite class of skilled professionals who prized their jobs, now suffers from diminished luster and historically high turnover rates. Officers in charge of protecting the White House say they have grown resentful at being belittled by their bosses and routinely forced to work on off-days. Some agents who have sworn to take a bullet for the president and his family have little faith in the wisdom or direction of their senior-most leaders. [,…] staffing short­ages have grown so severe that the agency has had to fly in field agents from across the country for two-week temporary details, paying their travel, hotel and per-diem costs.

Other problems include:

  • Julia Pierson having rejected an internal study’s recommendations that the White House have a total of about 100 countersurveillance officers to patrol the perimeter of the complex. Instead, she suggested cutting the recommended number by a third. She also decided to shrink key units in the agency, including the number of officers from the uniformed division who guard the White House complex.
  • Pierson was irate at what she considered the excessive security measures for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that Obama hosted in August, demanding that it dismantle extra layers of fencing and reopen closed streets, according to two agency supervisors who had mapped out the security plan. One supervisor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Washington Post that Pierson “doesn’t know anything about security planning in a post-9/11 world.” Pierson, who had worked during high school at Walt Disney World as a costumed character and park attendant, actually said: “We need to be more like Disney World. We need to be more friendly, inviting.”
  • Lawmakers also grilled Pierson about a botched investigation of a 2011 shooting at the White House, details of which were first reported by The Washington Post on Sunday. Pierson said she knew little about the incident, despite having been the agency’s chief of staff at the time.
  • Some lawmakers at the House hearing on Tuesday noted what they said was a broken culture within the Secret Service. They pointed to a young officer on duty the night of the 2011 shooting who heard shots fired and debris falling but was afraid to contradict supervisors who had incorrectly concluded that no shots had been aimed at the White House. Several House members said they had been hearing from agents and officers who do not feel they can make their concerns known internally.
  • Eleven agents were put on leave in 2012 after allegedly hiring prostitutes in Colombia.
  • Earlier this year, three Secret Service agents were sent home from their presidential detail in the Netherlands following a night of heavy drinking in which one agent was found passed out in a hotel hallway. (Inside Sources)

In the meantime, Joseph Clancy, a retired agent who briefly served as the head of Obama’s protective detail after he was first elected, was named to take over the Secret Service on a temporary basis, while a full review of the Secret Service is conducted and until a permanent replacement can be found.

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