The Secret Service has had an outstanding reputation. But the agency has been tarnished by the actions of agents who were in Colombia as an advance security unit to guard the president when he arrived.

While off duty, along with some military personnel, the agents and soldiers allegedly became involved in incidents with prostitutes they met in bars and took to their hotel rooms. When the incidents became known, all of the personnel involved were sent home and replaced by other agents and military personnel.

The Secret Service said it would fire one of the supervisors for cause, while a second supervisor was allowed to retire. Another employee resigned. The remaining eight agents under suspicion have been placed on leave and their security clearances suspended. The fate of the others will be known soon as the investigation progresses. There are differing stories but approximately 20 prostitutes are reported to have been involved.

The head of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, has been with the agency nearly 30 years and is highly respected. He is expected to take the necessary actions to right the agency. If there is a culture problem in the agency that will take time to cure.

The Secret Service up to now has had the respect of the nation and especially of those officials it has protected, including presidents. It is unfortunate that its reputation has been damaged.