Agents leave Cheney's itinerary in SLC shopPosted: Tuesday February 26, 2002 10:49 AM
Updated: Tuesday February 26, 2002 11:46 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Secret Service agent shopping for souvenirs left behind a document detailing security plans for Vice President Dick Cheney's appearance at the Olympics, the agency acknowledged Tuesday.
The agency said the papers were meant for law enforcement's eyes only, but contended the temporary loss did not constitute a major security breach.
"Even if this thing were released, it would not compromise our overall security plan," said Agent Brian Marr, a Secret Service spokesman.
Marr said an agent left the papers, which described the assignments of 17 Secret Service personnel, at a store while making a purchase near the Rice-Eccles Stadium, where the Closing Ceremonies was held Sunday night. The damage was limited by the fact that the 17 were a fraction of the hundreds of agents helping protect the site, he said
The store owner returned it to the Secret Service office in Salt Lake City, Marr said.
"We were relieved to have it returned by the shop owner," said Mark Camillo, Secret Service agent in charge of his agency's operations at the Games. "Those are our eyes and ears out there."
Marr would not identify the agent or agents involved and could not say what discipline might be imposed. Another Secret Service official said two agents were at the shop when the document was left behind.
"The Secret Service takes this safeguarding of information extremely seriously, and we are going to make sure steps are taken to reinforce this issue with the individuals" who misplaced them, he said. "This was just a lapse, and we're going to reiterate this to all our people that this type of stuff cannot be tolerated," Marr said.
"Is there an internal look at this? Yes," Camillo said.
The store owner, Clayton Greenhalgh, told The Salt Lake Tribune that the agents left a document titled "site post assignment log."
"It had a pretty detailed description about what was going on," said Greenhalgh, who discovered the document on a counter Sunday after the agents each purchased an $11 Olympics hat.
The log described seating arrangements at the stadium for Cheney, his wife and daughter and other dignitaries. It also detailed more than a dozen areas of the stadium where Cheney was to go, the newspaper said.
The document contained the number of Secret Service agents who were to provide security, where they would be stationed, and their specific assignments.
When Greenhalgh called to report the mistake, a Secret Service representative promised that an agent would pick up the log, the Tribune reported. After 45 minutes, no one had arrived, so he offered to take it to the agency's downtown office.
In exchange, Greenhalgh requested an autographed picture of Cheney, but was rebuffed and then decided to contact the newspaper.