Callahan's job on the market

Laura Callahan

Laura Callahan hasn't been fired, but the Homeland Security Department has started advertising to replace her. Callahan was put on administrative leave June 5 after Washington Technology and Government Computer News reported that she obtained her bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from Hamilton University, an alleged diploma mill.

Her job as deputy chief information officer was posted on July 7, but a Homeland Security spokesman said July 16 that Callahan's status with the agency had not changed.

According to the posting, the Senior Executive Service position has a salary range of $131,342 to $142,500 per year. Applications are being accepted until July 21.

The deputy CIO's job listing does not require any specific level of academic achievement, but does require that applicants identify all educational information, including the name, city and state of all colleges or universities attended, as well as the type and year of any degree received.

The Office of Personnel Management only recognizes degrees from accredited institutions and does not allow federal employees to obtain promotions or tuition reimbursements based on degrees from unaccredited schools.

Reached at home, Callahan declined to talk and referred all questions to her attorney, Ralph Lotkin, who did not return calls by press time.

In related news, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., have combined their requests to the General Accounting Office for an investigation of the use of diploma-mill degrees by federal employees.

The request merges separate audits the pair sought in requests sent last month to GAO. Collins is chairwoman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee; Davis is chairman of the House Government Reform Committee. *

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