The man tasked with heading the probe into the Secret Service sex scandal has been tied to a prostitution scandal of his own. Current and former Department of Homeland Security officials tell the New York Times that David Nieland stepped down after stonewalling the department's inspector general about an alleged incident with a prostitute. The Times' sources say the supposed incident took place in May, when sheriff's deputies in Broward County, Fla., say they saw Nieland entering a building they had under surveillance as part of their own prostitution probe. What officials say happened next: Nieland reportedly whipped out his badge and told police he was part of an "undercover human trafficking operation" for Homeland Security—then told Homeland Security he had been stopped by cops because his car taillight was busted.
When the two offices spoke and realized his stories didn't sync up, police tracked down a prostitute who picked Nieland out of a picture and said he had paid her for sex. When confronted about the alleged prostitute by his department, Nieland wouldn't respond. He resigned on Aug. 9 because of "health problems," tweeting that he had retired and moved "on to the next chapter." A Homeland Security rep would only confirm the date of his resignation, but added a vague "[officials] became aware in early May of this year of an incident in Florida that involved one of our employees" but noted that "the law prohibits us from commenting on specific case." Nieland hasn't been charged in connection with the alleged incident, and wrote "the allegation is not true" in an email to the Times yesterday. (Read more prostitution scandal stories.)