Pentagon official who oversees cybersecurity initiative placed on leave, suspected of disclosing classified information: report

Kate Arrington
Katie Arrington seen in 2018. AP Photo/Mic Smith
  • Katie Arrington, a top Pentagon official who oversees a cybersecurity initiative was placed on leave, Bloomberg reported.
  • She is suspected of disclosing classified information from a military intelligence agency, according to a document seen by the outlet.
  • Arrington was informed that her clearance to access classified information was suspended on May 11.
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The Pentagon official who oversees its new cybersecurity initiative for defense contractors was placed on leave after she was suspected of disclosing classified information without permission, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

Katie Arrington, the Pentagon’s chief information security officer in the acquisition and sustainment office, was informed on May 11 that her security clearance for classified information was suspended as the investigation continued, according to the report.

“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,” a memo sent to Arrington from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment said, according to Bloomberg.

A spokesperson for the Department of Defense declined to comment “out of respect for her privacy.” The agency does not comment on personnel matters, she added.

Arrington’s attorney, Mark Zaid, confirmed the document to Bloomberg but said “absolutely no decisions have been reached regarding any aspect.

He added: “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,” according to Bloomberg.

He noted that she had not been fired and had not had her security clearance permanently revoked, according to the report.

Prior to working at the Pentagon, Arrington was a two-term Republican in the South Carolina House of Representatives. She ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2018, The State reported at the time.

She joined the Pentagon in 2019, her attorney told Bloomberg.