DEA Chief Michele Leonhart To Quit Following ‘Sex Parties’ Scandal
Michele Leonhart, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chief, will resign from her post in a week after her agency was found guilty of leaking secrets regarding sex parties with prostitutes hosted by drug lords.
“I want to express my appreciation to Michele, not only for her leadership of the DEA since 2007, but also for her 35 years of extraordinary service to the DEA,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
He called Leonhart a “trailblazer for equality” and a “good friend,” but recently she faced allegations of misconduct.
Last week, the DEA administrator was interrogated about the sex parties attended by her agents in Colombia between 2001 and 2005. DEA did not investigate the parties until last year.
Leonhart’s evidence at the trial raised alarm concerning secrets that might have leaked at the party hosted by the drug lords. A panel has been prepared to investigate the matter.
“It is incredibly concerning that, according to the DEA itself, there is a clear possibility that information was compromised as a result of these sex parties,” Representative Elijah Cummings, top Democrat of the committee, told Reuters.
During the trial, Leonhart told the panel there is no evidence which proves confidential reports have been leaked, but at the same time, she did not deny the possibility of negotiations with drug dealers.
Cummings and Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz called Leonhart’s retirement apt in view of “the testimony we heard before our committee.”
Leonhart’s retirement callsfor President Obama to name a new administrator.
“I encourage the president to use this as an opportunity to fill this important role with someone who understands the outdated federal approach to marijuana isn’t working,” said Representative Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon.
He added, “The American public has moved on. Most now feel marijuana should be legalized.”