Pentagon Official Placed On Leave Suddenly

( )- A top official in the Pentagon who was working on cybersecurity projects for various defense contractors was suddenly placed on leave recently.

Recent media reports say Katie Arrington, who serves as the chief information security officer for the acquisition and sustainment office at the Pentagon, was placed on administrative leave back in May. This followed allegations that Arrington disclosed classified information that came from a military intelligence agency without getting authorization to do so.

On May 11, she was told “her security clearance for access to classified information is being suspended” as “a result of a reported Unauthorized Disclosure of Classified Information and subsequent removal of access by the National Security Agency.”

That was part of a memo that was sent out by the Office of the Under Secretary of Acquisition and Sustainment, which was obtained by Bloomberg. The memo also informed Arrington that “if this preliminary decision becomes final, you will not be eligible for access to classified information” or” assignments to duties that have been designated national security sensitive.”

Bloomberg reported that the memo didn’t specifically outline what Arrington was alleged to have disclosed. She is being represented by an attorney, Mark Zaid, who confirmed to various media outlets that his client was indeed placed on administrative leave.

The lawyer said the “process has been dragging on for weeks with little movement.” He added that the NSA is “delaying providing the proper DoD security component with information explaining its concerns [for] no reason.”

He added:

“This is causing harm to Ms. Arrington, is denying her due process and is inexcusable. When faced with such programmatic allegations DoD would routinely open an investigation as a matter of course. This is how the system works. Accepting an investigation, however, doesn’t prejudge the merits.

“Absolutely no decisions have been reached regarding any aspect.”

Arrington “has neither been fired nor had her security clearance revoked,” Zaid said. “We look forward to an opportunity to completely clear her name and her return to work.”

For its part, a spokesperson for the Pentagon would only confirm that Arrington was placed on leave. They wouldn’t comment any further, or discuss any timeline or details of the situation “out of respect for [Arrington’s] privacy.”

The Associated Press has reported that Arrington has worked in her position at the Pentagon for a little more than two years now, as she began in the position in early 2019.

Before working in the Pentagon, Arrington served in the state House in South Carolina. She was first elected as a Republican representative in 2016.

Two years later, Arrington actually defeated Mark Sanford in the GOP primary. That was the first time that Sanford, a prominent but controversial former governor of the state, lost an election.

That year, Arrington lost in the general election to her opponent, Democrat Joe Cunningham. It was the first time in decades that a Democrat won the district.