Secret Service Director Julia Pierson has resigned. The controversy sparked by the man jumping the White House fence and making it inside the building to the Green Room sparked bi-partisan calls for either President Barack Obama to fire Pierson, the first female to be appointed as Secret Service Director.
The Department of Homeland Security Secretary accepted Julia Pierson’s resignation earlier this afternoon, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated during a press conference held to announce that the Secret Service Director was stepping down. Earnest was asked if President Obama still had faith and full-confidence in Pierson, as had been stated earlier this morning. Earnest said the president does still have faith in Pierson and felt that the fact that she spent hours in front of Congress being grilled about security issues within the agency, and the fact that she accepted full responsibility for those failings, demonstrated Pierson’s sense of responsibility.
As previously reported by The Inqusitr, the Secret Service also allowed a convicted felon with a gun to ride in an elevator with President Obama after a recent meeting at the Centers for Disease Control. According to Earnest, the deputy director at the Department of Homeland Security will be conducting a full review of the recent security lapses within the Secret Service to determine if more resignations will be asked for or terminations warranted. A “panel of experts” will also be taking a “hard look” at the actions of the Secret Service in the coming days.
Julia Pierson was a 30-year veteran of the Secret Service and reportedly felt that her resignation was in the best interest of the agency. Pierson as hired as the Secret Service director in hopes of improving the agency’s reputation after several drinking-related scandals. During the Congressional hearing, then-Secret Service Director Julia Pierson admitted that the agents covering the White House failed to follow numerous security protocols the day the man armed with a knife jumped the fence and made it inside the building.
“I will also request that the panel advise me about whether it believes, given the series of recent events, there should be a review of broader issues concerning the Secret Service. The security of the White House compound should be the panel’s primary and immediate priority,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said.
Joseph Clancy has been tapped to be the interim Secret Service Director. Clancy is a former special agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division who retired from that position in 2011. Julia Pierson became the Secret Service Director in March, 2013.
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[Image via: Getty]