State Department targets six for discipline in laptop disappearance

State Department targets six for discipline in laptop disappearance

By Tony Lee Orr

GCN Staff

DEC. 6—An ambassador resigned from the State Department a month earlier than planned after the department proposed disciplinary actions against six Intelligence and Research Division employees over the disappearance of a laptop computer.

Disciplinary actions, including letters of reprimand, suspension and termination, were proposed by the department's Bureau of Human Resources.

The proposals followed an investigation by the Diplomatic Security Bureau into the missing laptop, which contained highly classified information on weapons of mass destruction, said Richard Boucher, a department spokesman. The actions have been appealed, he said.

Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy resigned Dec. 5 after his deputy, Donald Keyser, received a 30-day suspension in connection with the investigation. Roy had planned to retire in January. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright ordered Keyser reassigned on the heels of the laptop fiasco, Boucher said.

Boucher disputed news reports that Roy resigned in disgust over the incident, calling the move an early retirement.

The department discovered the laptop, purchased in 1996, missing on Jan. 31 when someone from outside the department asked to use it [see story at www.gcn.com/vol19_no12/news/2030-1.html]. The laptop remains missing, although a $25,000 reward has been offered for information on its whereabouts [see story at www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/2673-1.html].


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