US Secret Service sex row set for hearing

2012-05-14 10:59

Washington - The US Senate will hold a hearing on 23 May to question the head of the Secret Service about the recent sex scandal involving its agents and prostitutes in Colombia, Senator Joseph Lieberman announced on Sunday.

"We're going to hold a public hearing ... May 23rd, at which we're going to have Director Mark Sullivan of the Secret Service and the acting inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, Charles Edwards," Lieberman told CNN television.

The Secret Service has been scrambling to contain the scandal that originated in mid-April in Colombia, where US President Barack Obama attended the Summit of the Americas.

More than two dozen Secret Service agents and military personnel were sent home from Cartagena where they had been preparing security for Obama's visit.

Eight of the agents have been dismissed, and investigations into the actions by the agents and at least 12 military personnel are ongoing.

Peter King, who chairs the House homeland security committee, said he had rejected an offer from an attorney for one of the prostitutes in the case, Dania Londono, to meet with him in Washington.

"We're not going to do that. I think that would just add to a circus atmosphere," King added on CNN.

Londono, who went into hiding shortly after the scandal erupted in mid-April, has told Caracol Television and W radio about how she had begged for hours to be paid $800 by a Secret Service agent for her services.

Londono told the broadcaster she had met the men when she was in a bar in Cartagena with three of her friends.

Prostitution is legal in designated areas of the Caribbean port city.