Leave it to a woman to keep the boys in line. According to the Washington Post, a top female member of the Secret Service was responsible for booting 11 agents out of Colombia after they allegedly solicited prostitutes while preparing for the President’s arrival in Cartagena.
Despite supervisor Paula Reid’s best efforts to contain the situation, the sex scandal that splashed across front pages in the U.S. completely overshadowed the agents’ mission at the Summit of the Americas. But while details of the scandal from bar to brothel to bedroom have been widely reported, Reid’s actions to stop the agents’ misdeeds have flown largely under the radar.
The Post profile describes Reid as a 46-year-old black woman, tall and lean, with a reputation for being “exacting” and “steely.” The 21-year veteran of the Secret Service was recently promoted to head of the agency’s Miami bureau, where she oversees the 150 agents that work throughout South America.
Reid, who was staying at a different hotel in Cartagena at the time of the incident, took swift action to ensure that the agents involved would no longer be responsible for the President’s security during the trip. In accordance with protocol, she contacted Secret Service director Mark Sullivan to ask for permission to remove the agents. The Post notes that while Sullivan made the ultimate decision to send the agents home, it was Reid’s work ethic and focus that ensured the situation was handled appropriately.
“If every boss was Paula Reid, the Secret Service would never have a problem,” one former agent told the Post. Reid is believed to be the highest-ranking black woman in the Secret Service, an agency that has long been dominated by white men. An indefatigable worker, she’s reportedly at her desk by 7 a.m. each day.