Katherine Archuleta, for a hack that keeps getting bigger
It’s been a tough couple of years for top Obama administration officials. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stepped down last year after the flawed HealthCare.gov rollout. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned in October amid scandals at her agency. Ditto for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and CIA Director David Petraeus — whose scandal was personal. Lois Lerner fell victim to the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups.
Friday brought the latest entry: Office of Personnel Management head Katherine Archuleta tendered her resignation amid mounting calls for her to step down because of the way she handled a government hack that has been blamed on the Chinese.
First, OPM reported that 4.2 million people had been affected — which seemed at the time like a staggering number, especially considering what was stolen: detailed personnel records and references for security clearances that included personal information about friends and relatives of government job applicants. “It’s a treasure trove of information about everybody who has worked for, tried to work for or works for the United States government,” FBI Director James Comey said Thursday.
His comments came the same day OPM revised the 4.2 million figure to 22.1 million. That’s nearly 1 in every 15 Americans. Soon, members of Congress were calling for Archuleta’s head. The demands came mostly from Republicans, but even some Democrats said that OPM hadn’t been sufficiently forthcoming about the hack and that Archuleta should step aside. At first she resisted, but the writing was on the wall. She resigned just after noon on Friday.
Katherine Archuleta, for rising to the top only to be undone when you got there, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.