Home Breaking News Julia Pierson resigns as Secret Service director

Julia Pierson resigns as Secret Service director

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson has resigned following several high-profile security lapses.

Julia Pierson offered her resignation to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on October 1.

On September 30, Julia Pierson faced angry questions in Congress about a major breach of White House security.

News of another incident involving an armed man allowed in an elevator with President Barack Obama compounded calls for her to go.

“Today Julia Pierson, the Director of the United States Secret Service, offered her resignation, and I accepted it,” Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson wrote in a statement.

“I salute her 30 years of distinguished service to the Secret Service and the Nation.”

President Barack Obama also expressed his appreciation to Julia Pierson for her long history of public service, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on October 1.

Julia Pierson offered her resignation because “she believed it was in the best interests of the agency to which she has dedicated her career”, Josh Earnest added.

Julia Pierson faced angry questions in Congress about a major breach of White House security

Julia Pierson faced angry questions in Congress about a major breach of White House security

In an interview with Bloomberg News after her resignation was announced, Julia Pierson said she knew Congress had “lost confidence in my ability to run the agency”.

Joseph Clancy, in charge of the presidential protective division of the Secret Service, will take over as acting interim director.

High-ranking members of the Congress had been calling for Julia Pierson’s resignation in the wake of her testimony before a House oversight committee on September 30.

There Julia Pierson acknowledged the Secret Service security plan was “not executed properly” during a recent breach of the White House.

On September 19, suspect Omar Gonzalez, 42, allegedly scaled a fence and gained entry to the White House while carrying a knife.

On October 1, Omar Gonzalez pleaded not guilty to charges against him, including entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Prosecutors say Omar Gonzalez jumped the main fence around the White House and gained entry inside through an unlocked door, then barreled past a guard and ran into the East Room before being tackled.

The incident is the latest in a string of security lapses overseen by the Secret Service, tasked with guarding the Obama family.

On September 16, President Barack Obama is said to have been in an Atlanta elevator with an armed security contractor who had assault convictions.

This contravened a protocol that only members of the Secret Service are allowed to carry weapons in the presence of the president.

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