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White House intrusion was 'unacceptable'
01:56 - Source: CNN

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Julia Pierson was the first female director of the U.S. Secret Service.

She was appointed in 2013 after a prostitution scandal marred the agency.

Her resignation ends a 30-year career with the Secret Service.

Washington CNN  — 

Julia Pierson became the first female director of the U.S. Secret Service in March 2013, tapped to change the culture of an agency that was then marred by a Colombian prostitution scandal.

Eighteen months later, she’s been ousted as the agency faces a harsh new round of criticism.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday that he had accepted Pierson’s resignation – and that he is appointing an independent panel to investigate a Sept. 19 incident that saw Omar Gonzalez run deep inside the White House, carrying a knife, before Secret Service agents tackled him.

Related: Secret Service Julia Pierson resigns

“I think it’s in the best interest of the Secret Service and the American public if I step down,” Pierson told Bloomberg News after resigning Wednesday. “Congress has lost confidence in my ability to run the agency. The media has made it clear that this is what they expected.”

“I can be pretty stoic about it, but not really,” she reportedly said. “It’s painful to leave as the agency is reeling from a significant security breach.”

Pierson’s resignation marks the end of a 30-year career with the Secret Service that included stints on the protective details of presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.