Obtaining Security Clearance

Licking Food Leads to Battery Charges and Clearance Revocation

A recent news story from New Mexico highlights the seriousness of conduct that is directed towards law enforcement officials. According to an article filed by Reuters, Yolanda Arguello, a kitchen employee working as a contractor for the New Mexico Department of Corrections licked the cheese on sandwiches and sucked on ice cubes or placed them on the floor before serving them to probation and parole officers. As a result, she is facing felony battery charges on a peace officer and her security clearance was revoked.

In New Mexico, an assault is intentional threats, words, or actions that cause a person to feel afraid of impending violence; attempting to attack or hit someone; or the intentional use of words that insult another’s character. Battery is actual offensive physical contact, such as punching another person or hitting someone with an object. Apply this to the scenario above and the battery occurred when the peace officers came into offensive contact with the tainted cheese and ice cubes. Generally, simple assault and battery cases are misdemeanors, but in specific cases like this one involving peace officers, the charge is a fourth degree felony and could result in sentencing up to 18 months in prison along with hefty fines.

What is the moral of this story? Don’t mess with someone’s food or you may find yourself arrested and standing in front of a judge, which will impact your security clearance.

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    Why does a kitchen employee working for the NM Department of Corrections have a security clearance?