The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration is stepping down in mid-May, following revelations about “sex parties” involving prostitutes overseas and other misconduct among its agents.
Michele Leonhart, who has served at the helm of the DEA since 2007, has come under heavy criticism on Capitol Hill since an inspector general’s report last month documented a series of episodes in which agents hired prostitutes. Agents were also found to have had sex parties with some women hired by Colombian drug cartels.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced Leonhart’s pending departure in a statement Tuesday in which he noted she was the first woman at the agency to reach the rank of special agent in charge. “She was a trailblazer for equality,” he said.
Holder made no mention of the recent DEA controversies and said Leonhart had informed him she would be retiring.
“Over the past decade, under her leadership, there have been innumerable instances of the DEA dismantling the most violent and most significant drug trafficking organizations and holding accountable the largest drug kingpins around the world,” he said.