APRIL 05, 2006
Already in hot water for conducting inadequate employee background checks, the Department of Homeland Security had its second high-ranking official in only a few months arrested for illegal sexual conduct with a minor.
The agency’s deputy press secretary, 55-year-old Brian Doyle, was arrested this week on charges of trying to seduce a 14-year-old girl in Florida. Using a computer, Doyle used explicit language and transmitted pornographic material to the girl who instead was an undercover sheriff.
Doyle proudly informed the “girl” that he worked at the Department of Homeland Security and even sent her a picture of himself wearing government-issued identification tags.
Just a few months ago, another top official with the Department of Homeland Security was arrested at an Orlando Florida mall and charged with exposure of sexual organs and disorderly conduct with a 16-year-old girl.
The incident sparked a widespread investigation into the agency’s background checks because one official, Tampa Immigration Chief Frank Figueroa, had been previously arrested on similar charges when he was an immigration inspector in New York. Regardless, Figueroa rose through the ranks and even headed a division (Operation Predator) created to find and deport non-citizens who commit sex crimes against children.
The Department of Homeland Security vowed to improve its flawed system of background checks, but as Debbie Schlussel pointed out, officials knew all along about Figueroa’s previous arrest for a sex crime against a minor yet promoted him every step of the way. She also questions how the woman who oversees enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, Assistant Homeland Security Secretary Julie Myers, can continue to employ Figueroa.
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