Michele Leonhart, Top D.E.A. Official, Is Resigning
The Obama administration’s top drug enforcement official is stepping down, the Justice Department said Tuesday, after her agency’s reputation was tarnished by a scandal over sex parties with prostitutes and she broke with President Obama on drug policy.
Michele M. Leonhart, the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, is ending a five-year tenure that has been marred by accusations of mismanagement. The Justice Department said in a statement that she would retire in mid-May.
Ms. Leonhart’s departure follows a hearing last week in which lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee expressed outrage about her handling of reports that D.E.A. agents stationed in Colombia participated in sex parties with prostitutes paid for by drug cartels.
Seven agents who admitted to the accusations were given suspensions of two to 10 days, and under harsh questioning from the panel, Ms. Leonhart said that she was powerless to take more aggressive action such as firing them or revoking their security clearances.
Photo: James Lawler Duggan/Reuters