A supervisor in the Secret Service has been placed on leave after a female employee accused him of sexual harassment.
Xavier Morales, a manger in the security clearance division, allegedly made unwanted sexual advances and grabbed the woman on March 31, the Washington Post reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Alleged Harassment Happened After a Party to Celebrate Morales’ Promotion
According to the Washington Post, the woman said she was sexually harassed at the Secret Service office after a party she attended with Morales and others at a downtown bar, the Capitol City Brewing Company.
The woman said Morales, who is her boss, told her during the party he was in love with her and wanted to have sex with her, two people briefed on her statements told the Post. Back at the office, Morales, 48, tried to kiss the woman, she said, and grabbed her arms when she tried to stop him. She said the two “scuffled” until “Morales relented,” the Post reported.
Morales, who is married, was promoted to senior supervisor at the GS-15 rank by Director Joseph P. Clancy after he took over the troubled agency in October, according to the Post. He was set to become the head of the agency’s Louisville field office and would have reported to duty there next week, the Post reported. The position is a steppingstone in the agency, according to the Post.
Morales was placed on indefinite leave and added to the internal “do not admit” list, which prohibits entry to the office, a move the Post called an “unusual step.”
According to the Post, Morales also had his gun and badge taken away after the investigation began.
“The Secret Service is an agency that demands that our employees conduct themselves with the highest level of integrity. These allegations as reported are very disturbing,” Clancy said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Any threats or violence that endangers our employees in the workplace is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
The security clearance division, where Morales worked, determines when agents have jeopardized their security clearances, because of misconduct or other action, and should lose their jobs, according to the Post. It also vets job applicants for security issues.
2. His Wife is Also a Secret Service Agent
Morales’ wife, Yvonne DiCristoforo, also works for the Secret Service.
She was recently promoted to deputy assistant director over government and public affairs, with the role of acting as liaison with the Department of Homeland Security, according to the Post.
DiCristoforo has worked for the agency for 22 years, including as assistant to the special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Chicago field office.
3. DC Police Are Also Investigating Morales
According to the Post, the allegations are also being investigated by police because of the “criminal nature” of the incident. City detectives have interviewed the female agent who made the accusations and bar employees. Police declined to comment to the Post.
The case is being investigated by the DC Police’s sex crimes unit and a federal inspector general.
4. He Was Formerly the President of a Hispanic-American Police Officers Association
Morales was the president of the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association from 2013 to 2014, according to the organization’s website.
The national association is based in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1973 and has members at hundreds of agencies around the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
The organization says on its website:
Through HAPCOA, chiefs of police, sheriffs and police superintendents from around the country are committed to meeting the challenges of selection, promotion and retention of Hispanic American men and women in professional law enforcement and the criminal justice system. The courageous men and women of HAPCOA also work diligently to address the concerns of their respective communities and improve community relations through the implementation of innovative, state-of-the art training and educational programs.
5. His Suspension Is Another in a String of Controversies for the Secret Service
President Obama named Clancy as the new head of the Secret Service in October with a directive to cleanup the agency after a series of embarrassing security breaches at the White House. The agency has been under scrutiny from Congress since the incidents were reported.
On March 4, the Post reported that two senior Secret Service agents, Mark Connolly and George Connolly, were under investigation after driving an agency car into an area at the White House that was locked down because of a bomb threat investigation. The pair of agents had been at a retirement party at a downntown bar. That investigation is ongoing.
According to the Post, Clancy promoted Morales among a group of other agents in an effort to bring fresh leadership and reforms to the agency.