Career Advice

The Moonlighting, Leaking, Lying Security Professionals

The DoD and the Intelligence Community seem to be suffering an uptick in the number cleared employees or contractors who are at the center of news stories about leaking classified information, falsifying documents, providing false statements, and generally engaging in unethical behavior. A few weeks ago we heard about the former CIA employee who was moonlighting as a Facility Security Officer on official government time and misusing her access and resources. A few months ago we had former NSA contractor Reality Winner leaking classified information to news media.

Last week an article posted on our main site, wrote about government employees, military members, and contractors engaging in unethical conduct by accepting bribes. Two days ago Shawn Penn, an active duty U.S. Army Intelligence Officer at Ft. Meade who was charged last December with making false claims and statements, pled guilty in federal court according to a Justice Department news release,

Penn apparently was also moonlighting as a DoD contractor security guard for a SCIF (requires a TS/SCI clearance) and abandoned her post/duties regularly over the course of a year, but charged services performed for the government to the tune of more than $40,000. I have a lot of questions about this case: why she needed to supplement her income by working on the side as a contractor; did she request and get approved permission to engage in this outside employment? What is her current status in the military? Was her clearance revoked? These are important details missing from the story.

Most agencies and companies have policies in place, especially for those in a cleared status, about seeking outside employment. Make sure you know what your employer’s policy is.