Bankruptcy and moral bankruptcy

This story is just appalling. Is there anyone at the Defense De[partment with half a brain?

In 19 years of using his security clearance to sweep floors at a plant owned by defense contractor Lockheed Martin, janitor Michael Lynch has done nothing to arouse suspicion.

Co-workers and bosses speak glowingly of Lynch, a brain-tumor survivor who’s active in his church, building homes for poor people in Maine and West Virginia.

But because he and his family have struggled financially, the government now sees him as a threat to national security. Defense Department officials believe the janitor may be tempted to sell government secrets to get out of debt.

Last month, they asked a judge to revoke Lynch’s security clearance.

[snip]

Lynch’s troubles began shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, when an official reviewing Lynch’s security clearance began raising questions about a 1993 bankruptcy, an unpaid tax bill and some discrepancies on paperwork that Lynch filled out in 1999.

By January of this year, the department had concluded that Lynch, who makes $16.85 an hour sweeping floors at Lockheed’s plant in Moorestown, N.J., was a threat and moved to revoke his clearance.

Defense Department policy states that “an individual who is financially overextended is at risk of having to engage in illegal acts to generate funds.” The policy says that a history of financial trouble and an “inability or unwillingness to satisfy debts” are among factors that could raise security concerns.

But the 1992 directive also says that officials should take into consideration whether the financial trouble was recent, or caused by a hardship beyond the applicant’s control, when deciding to either grant or revoke clearance.

Lynch, a former cabinet maker, was out of work for three years after surgery in 1981 to remove a brain tumor. When he was well enough, he got a job at the radar and missile guidance systems plant, then owned by RCA but later acquired by Lockheed Martin.

The Lynches ran into severe financial problems in the early 1990s after his wife, Kay, stopped working to help their blind daughter, Christy, with her studies. The family couldn’t make ends meet on Michael Lynch’s wages and declared bankruptcy.

Kay Lynch eventually went back to work, but quit again after Christy was accepted to Temple University’s music program. Again finding themselves short of money, the Lynches decided to pay their daughter’s tuition instead of city wage taxes, which Lockheed did not deduct from Michael Lynch’s paycheck.

Katz acknowledged the decision was a bad one. But he said the family has since paid $7,000 toward their tax bill – most of what they owe. “Ironically, he’s in better financial shape than he’s ever been,” Katz said.

This never would have happened if Fashion Victim Victoria Clarke hadn’t resigned. She knew PR even if she didn’t know anything about dressing…or fabrics…or color…or

TBogg

TBogg

Yeah. Like I would tell you....