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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 12, 1998


Lewis Merletti has done an outstanding job as Director of the United States Secret Service, and I am accepting his retirement with the deepest regret. I have great admiration for Lew and for what he has accomplished in service to our country.

From Lew's service in the United States Army with the Special Forces to his Secret Service assignments in Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C., and finally as Director, he has distinguished himself at every level.

I would like to thank Lew's wife, Patty, and their sons, Mike, Matt, and Chris, for accepting the pressures and difficulties that arise from being a part of the Secret Service family. Like many Secret Service families, they endured a number of moves from one city to another. Their move to Cleveland and the Cleveland Browns organization will be one more challenge in Lew's accomplished career, one that he will undoubtedly meet with enthusiasm and great success. I also hope it will give Lew and Patty more time to spend with their children in the coming years.

On behalf of Hillary, Chelsea, the Vice President and his family, the former Presidents and their families -- indeed on behalf of everyone who has felt the reassurance of being in the care of Lew Merletti and the Secret Service agents he led -- I want to thank this distinguished Director for his remarkable devotion to duty and country. I will miss him very much.

The U.S. Secret Service is a critical law enforcement agency. It provides a secure environment for the President, the Vice President and their families, former Presidents and visiting heads of states while also playing a vital role in protecting our nation from terrorism, counterfeiting, and other financial crimes.