DeVos’ security detail could cost up to $6.54M over the next year

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The Education Department paid the marshals $5.28 million for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ protective detail from February through September of this year. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ security detail could cost up to $6.54 million from now through the end of September 2018, an Education Department official told POLITICO on Monday.

That projected cost is seen as a “high water mark” that the agency doesn’t plan to exceed, said spokeswoman Liz Hill.

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An agreement governing DeVos’ protective detail – which is provided around the clock by the U.S. Marshals Service – was just renewed for fiscal 2018, which began on Saturday.

The Education Department paid the marshals $5.28 million for her protective detail from February through September of this year – about $2.5 million less than what was projected.

That’s because both agencies were able to find cost savings, Hill said. For example, DeVos pays for the marshals to fly with her on her own private plane, which reduces travel costs, she said. DeVos foots the bill for the plane.

It’s extremely unusual for the Education secretary to be protected by marshals – the past four Education secretaries have been protected by the Education Department’s own small security force.

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Drew Wade, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service, said he couldn’t disclose the number of employees protecting DeVos or the “nature of threats against the secretary” due to “reasons of operational security.”

The agreement signed by the Education Department and the U.S. Marshals Service includes salaries and benefits for the marshals, their travel and per diem expenses, one “leased and equipped limousine” for DeVos and other vehicles, according to a copy of the first agreement signed by both agencies, obtained by POLITICO through a Freedom of Information Act request. That first agreement is dated March 28.

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