Reports: DEA Head To Step Down Following ‘Sex Party’ Scandal

In this April 12, 2013 file photo, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Michele Leonhart testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. An Obama administration official says the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to resign soon. Leonhart is a career drug agent who has led the agency since 2007 …
AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Director Michele Leonhart is expected to resign soon, according to media reports.

The DEA has come under fire in recent weeks following an inspector general report revealing that DEA agents had participated in cartel-funded sex parties in Columbia.

Leonhart faced a Capitol Hill grilling before the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee on the matter last week, and did not hold up well under scrutiny.

Following her testimony Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD), and other members of the committee issued a statement of “no confidence” in Leonhart.

“From her testimony, it is clear that she lacks the authority and will to make the tough decisions required to hold those accountable who compromise national security and bring disgrace to their position,” the statement read. “Ms. Leonhart has lost the confidence of this Committee to initiate the necessary reforms to restore the reputation of a vital agency.”

According to CNN, even before the IG’s revelations, the Obama administration was already down on her leadership due to her intractability on relaxing marijuana enforcement for states that have legalized the drug.

CNN’s report noted that Leonhart has already met with top Justice Department officials about her departure and that on Friday she sent an email to DEA employees, pointing out that the employee misconduct has “upset me for many reasons, but especially because it calls into question the incredible reputation DEA has built over more than 40 years.”

“I want to thank you for your continued expressions of trust and confidence as we navigate through these rough waters,” CNN quoted the email. “I know you will remain focused on our mission and the commitment to excellence that is the hallmark of who we are, and what we will always be at DEA.”

She was first appointed in an acting capacity in 2007 and confirmed as DEA head in 2010. News of her departure was first reported by CBS News.