Callahan resigns from Homeland Security

Laura Callahan

Laura Callahan, former senior director in the Homeland Security Department's CIO office, resigned from the department, effective March 26.

Callahan had been on administrative leave with pay since June, after Washington Technology revealed she had three questionable degrees from a diploma mill in Wyoming.

DHS spokeswoman Valerie Smith declined to comment on the resignation. Neither Callahan nor her attorney, Ralph Lotkin, could be immediately reached for comment.

Callahan, who had been deputy CIO of the Labor Department before moving to DHS, lost her security clearance following the department's decision to place her on administrative leave, so she could not work in the CIO office.

Washington Technology and Government Computer News last year reported that dozens of federal employees and contractors have questionable degrees.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who earlier had held hearings on the issue, joined with Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) to press for action on the issue. Collins is chairwoman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee and Davis is chairman of the House Government Reform Committee.

As a result of the public and congressional attention to the bogus-degree issue, Education Secretary Ron Paige has adopted a recommendation from a summit on the problem: The department plans to post on the Web a consolidated list of accredited institutions.

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