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Reid On Secret Service Scandal: "Hire More Women"

4/26/2012 3:08 PM ET

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had a three-word response when asked by Senate reporters on Thursday what the Secret Service could do to avoid more prostitution scandals: "Hire more women."

Reid aligned himself with critics who say the agency needs to diversify its workforce to prevent future recurrences of the recent scandal in Colombia. Several agents were discovered to have consorted with prostitutes, including at a hotel in Cartagena just days before President Obama arrived, and about a dozen agents have been dismissed from the agency in recent days as the inquiry has progressed.

Female congresswomen such as Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) have openly questioned why only 11 percent of Secret Service employees are women.

"I can't help, but wonder if there'd been more women as part of that detail if this ever would have happened," Collins said during an appearance on ABC News' "This Week" on Sunday.

A female bureau chief in Miami, Paula Reid, notified Secret Service officials in Washington immediately about the incident, according to reports, which prompted agency director Mark Sullivan to pull the agents out of Columbia.

by RTT Staff Writer

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