WASHINGTON - Secret Service Director
"I am announcing I will retire from the Secret Service effective March 4,'' Clancy said in a message to staffers. "
Clancy, a career agent who headed the organization's Presidential Protection Division, was called out of retirement more than two years ago after the service was rocked by a series of high-profile incidents of misconduct and security breaches, including a fence-jumper armed with a knife who made it into the presidential residence before being tackled by agents.
In the fallout, then-Director Julia Pierson, the first woman to lead the agency, was forced to resign.
In selecting Clancy, Obama defied the recommendation of a bipartisan White House security panel, which recommended that a new director come from outside the agency.
During his brief tenure, Clancy moved to stabilize the service while presiding over the most demanding period in the organization's history. Beginning in 2015, with Pope Francis' visit to the United States, through the raucous election season and culminating with last month's inauguration, the service has been challenged by an unrelenting workload.
"The Secret Service is stretched to and, in many cases, beyond its limits,'' the investigative panel concluded following Pierson's resignation. "Perhaps the service's greatest strength--the commitment of its personnel to sacrifice and do the job no matter what--has had unintended consequences.''
Just prior to Election Day, USA TODAY reported that at least 1,000 agents, about a third of the workforce, had already maxed out annual overtime and salary allowances, a consequence of the contentious political season's demands.
The disclosure prompted new legislation that ensured payment of previously uncovered overtime. The agency is now in the midst of an effort to add more than 1,000 agents and uniformed officers to the ranks by next fall.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who led reviews of the agency as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Tuesday acknowledged Clancy's "dedicated service'' but called on Trump to select a successor from outside the agency.
Chaffetz had previously called on Obama to make an outside appointment before Clancy's selection.
"He took on a difficult task of returning to and taking over an agency plagued with mismanagement, misconduct and security lapses,'' Chaffetz said of Clancy. "Under his leadership, the Secret Service has worked with this committee to implement detailed recommendations'' made by the panel's staff.
Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, lauded the service's work during the busy campaign season, characterizing the protection effort as "stellar.''
"He also helped restore professionalism at the agency after a series of security lapses and incidents of misconduct over the past few years,'' Goodlatte said. "I have the utmost respect for Director Clancy and his leadership.''
(© 2017 KCEN)