Lawmakers look into capitol police leaving guns in bathrooms

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Capitol Police Under Scrutiny for Guns Left Unattended

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lawmakers demanded answers Friday after a report that Capitol Police officers have left their guns in the bathrooms of the Capitol complex three times this year.

"The fact that dangerous weapons were left in the open, potentially within reach of the general public, is unacceptable," said a statement by Reps. Candice Miller, R-Mich., and Robert Brady, D-Pa.

"We will be looking for a full briefing on these incidents, how they happened, what corrective action has been taken, and how we hopefully do not have similar instances in the future," they said.

Miller heads the House Administration Committee and Brady is the panel's senior Democrat. The committee oversees security for the House.

The newspaper Roll Call, which first reported the incidents, said one of the guns was found by a child. The newspaper said the others were found by employees who work at the Capitol.

One gun was left by a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch's McConnell's security detail, and another was left by an officer who protects House Speaker John Boehner, the newspaper said.

Both offices referred questions about the incidents to the Capitol Police.

Capitol Police spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider said the department takes security breaches very seriously, and the three incidents were internal personnel matters that were being investigated.

"Each disciplinary matter is thoroughly investigated and reviewed, employees are held accountable for their conduct, and they are provided due process in adjudicating these matters," Schneider said in an email. "Depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation, an employee's record, and other required considerations, an appropriate penalty is applied, up to and including termination of employment."

"As a matter of policy," she added, "the department does not routinely discuss internal personnel matters, in order to maintain the integrity of the department."

In a subsequent statement, Schneider said the information regarding the three cases should not have been released because they were law enforcement sensitive. Schneider said the inspector general for the Capitol Police is investigating.

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