When it comes to sleaze, all scandals lead to South Florida. Want to fix a South American election? This is the place. Want to fix an American election, for that matter? We've got that as well. In fact, according to a new book, South Florida practically invented sleaze.
So it's no surprise that a prostitution scandal involving the U.S. Secret Service has somehow come to our neck of the woods.
According to media reports, a Miami investigator tasked with investigating the Secret Service incident recently resigned after -- what else? -- visiting a hooker.
The bizarre tale dates back to April 2012, when 13 Secret Service agents hired hookers shortly before President Barack Obama's visit to Colombia.
(Prostitution is legal in Colombia. However, many Americans were outraged that the secret servicemen were not only patronizing prostitutes but also potentially exposing themselves to extortion while on duty.)
The scandal deepened when the Obama administration was accused of trying to cover up the embarrassing incident.
David Nieland, then the head of Homeland Security's Inspector General office in Miami, was tasked with investigating. In September 2012, he released a damning report about the Secret Service rendezvous. Nieland also later claimed he had been pressured to delete information potentially damaging to the administration during an election year.
Now, however, Nieland is wrapped up in his own prostitution scandal.
This past May, Broward County Sheriff's deputies happened to spot Nieland slipping out of a brothel they had under surveillance, according to the New York Times.
When BSO deputies stopped Nieland, he flashed his badge and claimed he was part of an undercover human-trafficking operation involving Homeland Security agents.
Apparently spooked by the stop, Nieland then told officials in the Inspector General's office he had been questioned by cops over a broken tail light. But when his superiors contacted BSO, both ends of Nieland's story began to unravel.
Homeland Security officials said there was no human-trafficking operation, and BSO deputies quickly found a prostitute who said Nieland had paid her for sex.
When he was questioned about the incident, he refused to respond, the Times reports. Instead, he resigned August 9 citing health problems.
Nieland denied visiting the prostitute, telling the Times that "the allegation is not true."
From his Twitter account, Nieland appears to be a fan of Rick Scott and the American soccer team.
If true, the story is eerily similar to another instance of stunning hypocrisy by a high-level federal official.
Two years ago, Miami's former chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was sentenced to almost six years in prison for possessing child porn -- a crime against which he had crusaded.