Mark Morgan, a former FBI official, was recently appointed the new head of the Border Patrol Agency, despite hopes that the new leader would be promoted from within.
Morgan replaces Michael J. Fisher, who held the position since 2010 and retired this past November, and interim chief, Ronald Vitiello. His experience investigating crime and corruption along the border made him a top pick for the job. In addition, Morgan also served as the assistant director for training for the FBI.
The agency’s name has been tarnished over recent years with a string of arrests within the agency involving drugs, alcohol and domestic violence. Despite internal investigations of 14 officials regarding serious misconduct, no disciplinary actions were taken.
James F. Tomsheck, former official of internal affairs, confirmed the misconduct issues within the agency. His investigation of the officials came in response to questions about the morality within leadership. “Why do we have a morale problem? Because senior leadership thinks they can do whatever they want and not be held accountable,” he later said in an interview. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske’s desire for greater transparency and accountability, led to his choice of an outsider to take the helm.
Critics have condemned the agency for its failing leadership and abuse of the system. The agency has also been under attack by civil rights groups while being investigated in cross-border shootings and allegations of excessively using lethal force.
Ronald Hosko, a former FBI official has said that despite knowing that many of the agency’s employees don’t want Morgan in the role, Morgan is optimistic that he can make a difference.
Morgan will be charged with creating an image of trust and honesty within the agency while bringing in the right leadership to help him achieve his goals.