A top State Department official responsible for passports has resigned, but the department is refusing to link that to the row over unauthorized peeking into the files of the presidential candidates.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters he would not ascribe the departure of Ann Barrett "to any individual incident." Barrett was deputy assistant secretary of state for passport services.

Last month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice apologized to presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama after the department confirmed the passport files had been compromised. It was not clear whether the workers saw anything other than the basic personal data. Two have been fired.