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Secret Service agent joked about Palin; Ousted supervisor's post from '08 brought to light

One of the Secret Service supervisors who was ousted from the agency this week for his involvement in the Colombia prostitution scandal made light of his official protective work on his Facebook page, joking about a picture of himself standing watch behind Sarah Palin.

David R. Chaney, 48, posted several shots of himself on duty in a dark suit and sunglasses, including one that shows him behind the then-Republican vice presidential nominee during her 2008 campaign.

"I was really checking her out, if you know what I mean?" Chaney wrote in the comments section after friends had marveled at the photo. He is married and has an adult son.

Chaney, who had been a supervisor in the Secret Service's international programs division, retired under pressure Wednesday, according to people familiar with an internal agency investigation into the allegations that 11 agents and uniformed officers had participated in a night of carousing April 11 ahead of President Obama's visit to the Summit of the Americas.

He was one of two senior supervisors who are accused in the scandal, which investigators believe included heavy drinking, visits to a strip club and payments to women working as prostitutes. Several people familiar with the matter have identified the other supervisor as Greg Stokes, who was assistant special agent in charge of the K-9 Division. Stokes has been notified by agency officials that he will be fired, although he will be given an opportunity to contest the allegations, according to those with knowledge of the case.

The disclosure that two high-level managers were involved in the misconduct has raised questions of accountability and personal conduct in an agency whose top leadership has insisted that the Cartagena incident is an isolated and aberrant case, not a sign of a deeper cultural problem within the institution.

Chaney and Stokes have each worked at the Secret Service for nearly two decades, and both have served significant time with the presidential protection detail, according to people who know the men. Both are based in Washington.

The supervisors were sent on the trip to supervise dozens of younger, less-experienced agents who were part of the advance team preparing for Obama's arrival.

Lawrence Berger, general counsel for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association and an attorney for Chaney and Stokes, declined to comment on details of the allegations involving his clients. He said the agency's investigation is not complete for either man and stressed that any judgment about their roles in the scandal is "premature."

Capitol Hill lawmakers who have been briefed on the matter have said 21 men are suspected of bringing as many as 21 prostitutes to their rooms. Ten military members also have been accused of participating, along with the 11 Secret Service personnel.

The incident became public after one man got into a dispute over payment with a woman on the morning of April 12, drawing the attention of hotel staff and Colombian authorities, who reported the matter to the U.S. Embassy.

The Secret Service recalled its 11 employees and replaced them with another team before Obama arrived April 13. All were placed on administrative leave and had their top-secret security clearances revoked.

The Secret Service announced Wednesday that three of the men were being dismissed from the agency for their involvement.