Secret Service agent kills self amid affair probe
By ALICIA A. CALDWELL
Associated Press – 2 hrs 45 mins ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — For nearly six years, a senior Secret Service agent kept his extramarital affair with a Mexican woman a secret from the agency responsible for protecting the president.
But in the wake of an embarrassing prostitution scandal involving 13 agents and officers, Rafael Prieto's secret was revealed by a fellow employee amid concerns that the Secret Service wasn't enforcing its rules consistently.
With an internal investigation ongoing, Prieto apparently committed suicide last week. That's according to people familiar with the matter. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss Prieto's death or the investigation, which they say has focused on whether Prieto violated agency rules that require disclosing relationships with foreigners.
They say Prieto, a married father, admitted the years-long relationship when confronted by investigators.
Source: Secret Service agent dead of apparent suicide
By Carol Cratty, CNN
updated 11:04 PM EDT, Thu November 1, 2012
• Rafael Prieto was a 20-year veteran of the Secret Service
• He was assigned to President Obama's protective detail
• Authorities were looking into a suspected long-term relationship with a foreign national
• A law enforcement source says his death last Saturday was an apparent suicide
Washington (CNN) -- A Secret Service agent suspected of having a romantic relationship with a Mexican woman is dead of an apparent suicide, a law enforcement official told CNN Thursday.
The source said Rafael Prieto, 48, was assigned to President Obama's protective detail.
The Secret Service confirmed Thursday that Prieto's death last Saturday is currently being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, along with the medical examiner's office. No official determination of death has been made.
Prieto's access to Secret Service facilities had been suspended while authorities were looking into his apparently unreported and long-term relationship with a foreign national, the law enforcement official said.
"There is nothing to indicate that any classified or sensitive information was compromised as a result of this relationship," according to the source.
The official said Prieto was involved in an "administrative process" about his connection with the woman but that he was not under investigation by the Secret Service's Office of Professional Responsibility.
Prieto could have been in violation of Secret Service protocols if he had not informed superiors about a personal relationship with a foreign national. Such relationships came under a spotlight after agents sent to Cartagena, Colombia, in advance of President Obama's trip earlier this year spent time partying with prostitutes.
"Rafael Prieto had a distinguished 20-year career with the Secret Service that was marked by accomplishment, dedication, and friendships," said Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan. "The Secret Service is mourning the loss of a valued colleague."