April 28, 2012 - 15:37 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Embarrassed over a Colombia sex scandal, the U.S. Secret Service has released new conduct guidelines that forbid agents from visiting "non-reputable establishments" or bringing foreigners to their hotel rooms.
AFP reports that the "enhanced standards of conduct," which are effective immediately, also forbid agents in the presidential protection force from consuming alcohol within 10 hours of reporting for duty, and require trips to be staffed by a supervisor from the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility.
The rules were disseminated two weeks after more than two dozen Secret Service agents and military personnel were sent home from Cartagena, Colombia, where they had been preparing security for a visit by President Barack Obama.
They were accused of drinking heavily, visiting a strip club and consorting with prostitutes, including bringing sex workers to their hotel rooms.
Eight agents have since been dismissed, the security clearance of one other has been permanently revoked, and three others have been cleared of major misconduct, according to the agency.
Investigations into the actions by the agents and some 12 military personnel are ongoing.
The new guidelines lay out "off-limit zones and off-limit establishments for USSS personnel," and require agents to attend standard-of-conduct briefings upon entry to a country, where the U.S. ambassador may impose "country-specific rules," Secret Service special agent Edwin Donovan said in a statement.
Agents will also be required to adhere to U.S. law while abroad, and undergo ethics training in order to be eligible for foreign travel.