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Analyst, Sandia Settle Suit

FOR THE RECORD: The name of Jennifer Jacobs' employer has been corrected in this story.

By Scott Sandlin
Journal Staff Writer
    Shawn Carpenter, the cybersecurity analyst fired by Sandia National Laboratories after backhacking in search of overseas computer intruders, has settled his lawsuit with Sandia.
    Carpenter won a $4.7 million jury verdict against Sandia in February in Bernalillo County District Court, including more than $2 million in punitive damages.
    He testified that after detecting intrusions he believed compromised national security, he took his concerns to his bosses at Sandia, who turned a deaf ear, prompting him to go outside his chain of command to the Army Research Laboratory and ultimately the FBI.
    Sandia officials said that Carpenter had violated policy and breached protocols and that he was treated as any other employee would have been.
    The judgment has been on appeal by Sandia— and earning 15 percent interest in the meantime. The settlement sends the case back to the district court for dismissal.
    Neither side would comment on the specifics of the confidential settlement.
    "We're satisfied with the agreement and pleased to put the case behind us," Sandia spokesman Michael Padilla said.
    Carpenter's attorney Phil Davis had no comment.
    Carpenter and his wife, Jennifer Jacobs, moved to the D.C. area in 2005 to take new jobs.
    Carpenter is still a forensics analyst in network detection for a private corporation, NetWitness, and teaches at conferences and seminars.
    Jacobs, a former Sandia nuclear engineer and one-time White House fellow who was affected by her husband's termination, is a consultant for McKinsey & Co.
    "I'm actually having a lot of fun and still feel like I'm having an impact on national security work," Carpenter said Wednesday.
    In his new job, he said he is able to have a hand in developing the product. Members of the intelligence community, federal agencies and the military are among clients, he said.