Former South Carolina lawmaker suspended from Pentagon job

Jun 29, 2021, 7:13 PM | Updated: 9:28 pm

MARION, S.C. (AP) — A former South Carolina state lawmaker and failed congressional candidate has been placed on leave from her Pentagon job during a probe into allegations of an unauthorized release of classified information, according to her attorney.

Since early 2019, Katie Arrington has been working as chief information officer for the Acquisition and Sustainment Office at the Defense Department, overseeing a cybersecurity initiative.

On May 11, she was informed that “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,” according to a memo first reported by Bloomberg News and confirmed Tuesday to The Associated Press by Mark Zaid, Arrington’s attorney.

“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,” officials with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment wrote in the memo, according to Bloomberg.

On Tuesday, Zaid said the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency — which conducts background investigations for the federal workforce — “has no active investigation or adjudication actions” regarding Arrington. He accused security officials of “withholding information,” now that six weeks have passed since her suspension.

“The conduct of NSA is denying Ms. Arrington her due process and is harming the national security of the United States,” Zaid said.

Any specific allegations against Arrington have not been disclosed, and she remains on paid leave, according to Zaid.

Arrington went to work at the Pentagon after a brief political career in South Carolina. A Republican, she was elected to South Carolina’s state House in 2016. Two years later, she won a GOP primary over U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, who had returned to his congressional seat after serving two terms as governor.

It was Sanford’s first-ever loss, with Arrington calling her opponent a “Never Trumper” for his criticism of then-President Donald Trump.

During that campaign, Arrington referred to her cyber security and defense industry credentials as evidence of her federal government experience.

But Arrington narrowly lost the general election to newcomer Joe Cunningham, a Democrat who flipped the district from red to blue for the first time in decades. At the time, she blamed Sanford for her eventual loss and vowed to seek the seat in the future.

Arrington did not return a text message seeking comment Tuesday night, and her attorney said she would not be responding to inquiries on the matter.


Meg Kinnard can be reached at

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks before President Joe Biden signs the $1.2 trillion bipa...
Associated Press

Sinema took Wall Street money while killing tax on investors

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona Democrat who single-handedly thwarted her party’s longtime goal of raising taxes on wealthy investors, received nearly $1 million over the past year from private equity professionals, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists whose taxes would have increased under the plan. For years, Democrats have promised to raise […]
24 hours ago
FILE- Internal Revenue Service taxes forms are seen on Feb. 13, 2019. The flagship climate change a...
Associated Press

Expanded IRS free-file system one step closer in Dems’ bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The flagship climate change and health care bill passed by Democrats and soon to be signed by President Joe Biden will bring U.S. taxpayers one step closer to a government-operated electronic free-file tax return system. It’s something lawmakers and advocates have been seeking for years. For many Americans, it’s frustrating that beyond […]
24 hours ago
FILE - In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, air force and naval aviation corps of ...
Associated Press

China sending fighter jets to Thailand for joint exercises

BANGKOK (AP) — The Chinese air force is sending fighter jets and bombers to Thailand for a joint exercise with the Thai military on Sunday. The training will include air support, strikes on ground targets and small- and large-scale troop deployment, the Chinese Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on its website. China’s expanding […]
24 hours ago
FILE - This Aug. 9, 2020, still image taken from officer video provided by the Albuquerque Police D...
Associated Press

Suspect in 4 New Mexico killings left trail of violence

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — In the six years since he resettled in the United States from Afghanistan, the primary suspect in the slayings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque has been arrested several times for domestic violence and captured on camera slashing the tires of a woman’s car, according to police and court records. The […]
24 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: August 13, East Germany seals the border

Today in History Today is Saturday, Aug. 13, the 225th day of 2022. There are 140 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Aug. 13, 1961, East Germany sealed off the border between Berlin’s eastern and western sectors before building a wall that would divide the city for the next 28 years. […]
24 hours ago
A Clinton County employee helps direct traffic as an Ohio State Highway Patrol vehicle leaves the s...
Associated Press

Ohio gunman appeared to threaten FBI after Trump home search

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A gunman who died in a shootout after trying to get inside the FBI’s Cincinnati office apparently went on social media and called for federal agents to be killed “on sight” following the search at former President Donald Trump’s home, a law enforcement official said. Federal investigators are examining social media […]
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Former South Carolina lawmaker suspended from Pentagon job