“Today Julia Pierson, the director of the United States Secret Service, offered her resignation, and I accepted it,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement this afternoon. “I salute her 30 years of distinguished service to the Secret Service and the Nation.”
Johnson has appointed Joseph Clancy, formerly special agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division of the Secret Service, as the interim acting director.“Mr. Clancy retired from the Secret Service in 2011,” he added. “I appreciate his willingness to leave his position in the private sector on very short notice and return to public service for a period.”Source: ABC News
So, Ms. Pierson steps down. What happens next? More than likely, another director will step in and things will continue down the same path. We’ve seen this play out time and time again, and I don’t recall any government agency that did an abrupt 180 degree turn just because a new person was put in charge.
As with any political scandal, there always has to be a sacrifice. We saw this with the CIA. We also saw this with the Veterans Administration. Now, it’s the Secret Service in the hot seat. At some point, we are going to have to recognize that constant turnover in leadership hurts the agencies just as much as having “ineffective” leaders. Whack-A-Leader has never been proven to be a successful workforce model to sustain any government.
I’m not trying to demean the leadership capability of anyone, but leadership only goes so far. If the workers are not up to par or refuse to do their job, then no amount of leadership will make up for sub-par performance from the people who actually do the job.
The issues with the Secret Service are serious. From the shooting at the White House to the guy on the elevator, there have been some security issues with the presidential protection detail that should concern all Americans. It doesn’t help the image of the agency or the leader when they try to hide their failings as well. There are some things that I feel should stay secret without blasting it all over the news, but unfortunately that is not the case.
The Secret Service is charged with protecting the leader of the sole superpower in the world, and that is no small feat to accomplish. Nobody celebrates the days they complete their mission without any incident occurring, but when something goes wrong, they will take heat as though everything they’ve done is a failure. They can be right 99 times out of 100, and that one failure will tarnish their records with people considering them failures.
There has to be better oversight within all agencies and not just the Secret Service. A leader can positively or negatively affect performance and moral amongst his or her team of workers. That said, if a center fielder drops a pop-up fly that causes their team to lose the World Series, that dropped catch can’t be blamed on the manager. The player has to take responsibility for his actions. I think that is the same case for federal workers.
Far too often, problems within agencies get blamed on the leadership, and they may be deserving of that blame. In this case, I fell that Ms. Pierson should step down. Not because of the mishaps, but I think that she failed her duty by trying to deceive everyone about the nature of those mishaps. There also needs to be accountability for those on the front line who fail to execute their duties as they have sworn to do. All federal employees take an oath of office. If they can’t uphold that oath, then they should be the ones resigning, and not the leaders.