Retired Army officer allegedly uses foreign, online dating site to transmit Ukraine war info

David Franklin Slater, 63, was working at U.S. Strategic Command in Nebraska.

  • A civilian Air Force employee is facing charges of transmitting classified information related to the national defense through an online dating site. David Franklin Slater, 63, of Nebraska, a retired Army Lt. Col., was working at U.S. Strategic Command where over a three-month period, he allegedly transmitted secret information about the Ukraine war to a person on a foreign, online dating platform. Slater faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count. Earlier this week, Slater pleaded not guilty.
  • A federal buildings disposal board gets another few years to continue its work, if a bipartisan bills becomes law. Congress created the Public Buildings Reform Board in 2019 to help the federal government sell underutilized buildings (and land) more quickly. But the board goes away in May 2025, unless lawmakers reauthorize it. That is the goal of a bill Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) introduced this week. It would keep the board running through December 2026 and would require fewer members on the board to keep a quorum. Progress has been made, as 10 federal properties have been sold at the board’s recommendation, but the dollar total is nowhere near the billions of dollars in sales that Congress envisioned.
  • Social Security Administration employees now have a little more flexibility in their workplace options. When SSA workers have to drop off a child at school, or get their car fixed, they can now request telework rather than digging into their leave hours. Just this week, SSA leaders signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). The new agreement lets SSA employees use what is called “episodic telework” sparingly, in cases when they need it — as long as a manager approves it. On paper, it is only a slight shift, but it will make a significant impact. “A win like episodic telework and split days, it may seem so small, but it means so much to a workforce who is really starving for flexibility,” AFGE’s Jessica LaPointe said in an interview.
    (Memorandum of understanding on episodic telework and split days - American Federation of Government Employees)
  • Time is short to comment on a new draft framework to shape the future of secure AI capabilities. Agencies and vendors have until Monday to give feedback to the FedRAMP cloud security program on its draft Emerging Technology Framework. Eric Mill, the director of cloud strategy at GSA, said comments are important because the framework will help FedRAMP prioritize the security approval of specific AI tools in the cloud. "As we engage in a prioritization process, where FedRAMP is really important for what FedRAMP does, that has to be well understood, be transparent to stakeholders, that'd be understood as fair and clear. So that's the foundation we're trying to lay with this framework right now," Mill said.
    ( - Federal News Network)
  • The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) now has permanent leadership, as it continues to chip away at a backlog of employee appeal cases. The Senate confirmed Cathy Harris to the agency’s top position, in a vote along party lines on Wednesday. Harris was already serving in the chairman position on an acting basis, awaiting the Senate’s decision. The MSPB adjudicates federal employees' appeals over cases of prohibited personnel practices in the workplace. In the last couple of years, the MSPB has been able to slash its case backlog in half. About 3,800 appeals cases piled up, starting in the Trump administration, when the MSPB didn’t have a quorum, which prevented it from issuing decisions for five years. That backlog is now under 2,000.
  • The Justice Department is starting its own whistleblower rewards program, after seeing it pay off for other agencies. The department is launching a so-called "90-day sprint" to get the project started, with a formal start date of later this year. DOJ said the attorney general already has the authority to pay out awards for tips that lead to civil and criminal forfeitures, but the department never created a targeted program to make full use of it. The program is modeled after whistleblower programs at the IRS and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro is calling on shipbuilders once again to “do their part” and to invest in its production lines and capabilities. In a speech last month during the West conference in San Diego, Del Toro said big shipyard builders need to invest more in their own infrastructure rather than prioritizing stock prices. At the same time, shipbuilders said recruitment and retention are their main challenges. Del Toro said industry needs to prioritize taking better care of their people. For example, he said, they can work with the government to build housing in local communities to accommodate workers.

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