Jun 24, 2007

Since that time, dissatisfaction and mistrust have escalated

To put this story into a bit of perspective, the Los Alamos Monitor is the local company town rag. The editor of the paper, Ralph Damiani has traditionally been a complete toady when it came to publishing stories that even hinted at a point of view less than totally complementary towards LANL. He would spike any story that did not deliver glowing positive things to say about LANL and its management. That fact that this story ran is an indication of how complete the unhappiness with LANS is at Los Alamos.




Community leaders raise red flags

CAROL A. CLARK Monitor County Editor

In December 2005, Los Alamos National Security, LLC, entered a transitional process and assumed management of Los Alamos National Laboratory on June 1, 2006. Since that time, dissatisfaction and mistrust have escalated.

Despite Director Michael Anastasio's upbeat first-anniversary "State of the Lab" presentations, few people have not heard one or more of the following sentiments expressed among employees, business owners and community members in general:

  • "LANS management isn't vested in local community/most live elsewhere";

  • "they aren't seen in local stores or restaurants";

  • "too many Bechtel employees brought in - leaving LANL employees without enough work";

  • "an ever-looming threat of layoffs is killing local business";

  • "LANS officials have bloated salaries;"

  • "management arrogance";

  • "LANS is sucking the community dry"; and

  • "it's all about profits now."

    Recent conversations with community leaders add to the growing sense of uncertainty and concern permeating Los Alamos.

    Longtime community leader Roger Waterman of TRK Management has lived in town since 1947. He and his brothers have carried on the tradition started by their father Robert Waterman of building and managing properties throughout Los Alamos and White Rock.

    TRK owns and manages familiar landmarks including the Hampton Inn, Oppenheimer Place and the property housing the Bradbury Museum, which is leased by LANL.

    Leasing a number of properties to the lab has given Waterman a long history of interaction with the town's largest employer.

    During an interview Friday, he shared his perceptions of LANS and its effect on the community.

    "We have come to the same conclusions as many others," Waterman said. "The last five to six years have been very difficult on both the lab and the community because of obvious things - the fire, security breach headlines, lab shutdown, contract changes, budget issues and the recent contractor terminations.

    "None of these things helped TRK's businesses and a couple of them have been very expensive and have resulted in our changing our short term view of the future in significant ways."

    Waterman spoke of the loss of a "sense of community" he is feeling.

    "Our biggest issues may be the ongoing dissolution of our sense of community and the inability or unwillingness of the lab and NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration) to engage the entities and people they impact in a pre-emptive dialog," Waterman said. "The community has significant resources as does LANS and NNSA. Their engagement would allow us to use our resources to minimize the damage to our businesses and community and maybe put a little more positive substance to the future."

    Denise Lane of the Lane Prestige Group has conducted business in Los Alamos for 21 years. She purchased Hill Diner in 1986 and still operates it today with partner Lori Novak. She also is a Realtor and president of the Los Alamos Board of Realtors.

    Lane owns commercial properties. She leases space to small businesses and recently expressed concern regarding the local business climate.

    "Properties previously robust and filled up are now struggling with vacancies," Lane said. "To see small businesses struggling to pay their rent is a big red flag. This is something we haven't seen - businesses in their first year maybe, but not businesses that have been established for so many years."

    Superintendent Jim Anderson has been in charge of Los Alamos Public Schools for some 14 years. He shared his perceptions and concerns during a recent interview.

    "The rumors we hear about what's going on at the laboratory don't match up with what lab management is telling us," Anderson said. "I'd like to believe lab management in terms of their saying they are not going to lay-off employees. And obviously a concern for all of us has to be the recent actions by the House of Representatives and the proposed budget cuts at Los Alamos and other labs."

    Anderson pointed out that the proposed cuts still need to go through the Senate.

    "I think it's fairly consistent in the last few years that this gets worked out in the conference committee between the House and Senate," Anderson said. "That's where Domenici (Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.) and Bingaman (Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.) have been able to salvage our budgets most of the time. We'll see once again if Domenici and Bingaman can do damage control."

    Anderson recently met with LANL officials to discuss the properties LAPS lease to the lab.

    "On a positive note, they have renewed their commitment to lease our facilities out into the future," Anderson said.

    Linda Daly serves on the UNM-LA Advisory Board and is executive director of The Family YMCA. The Y serves more than 2,000 facility members and 3,000 program members. Daly said that while people go to the Y to work out, they also socialize, and they are expressing concern and uncertainty about the future.

    "We've definitely experienced softness of membership over the last couple of years," Daly said Friday. "We've lost memberships because of people leaving or retiring and also because of the uncertainty of layoffs at the laboratory."

    While memberships have fallen, Daly said the Y remains strong in its program areas. People are still coming in to release stress and to recreate, she said.

    "But as people are looking at their budgets and tightening up, they have to make cuts such as memberships," Daly said. "And now there's more bad news with the proposed budget cuts - all this has affected our business. The unsettledness is disturbing and it seems to come in waves. I keep waiting for the good news. From the contract change to layoffs to budget cuts - this town has been through a lot and could really use a good break."

    Anonymous said...

    Gee and with all that bad news now LLNS and LANS employees are going to take a 5% cut in pay leaving even less money to spend down town. So lets see, how will a 5% this year and a 1% for every year after for the next 11 years affect the local economy?. Compound that with the never ending increase in cost to the employee for medical care and I'd say that we are SOL. For all of you LLNL employee who have enough brains to read the blog, we are just giving you a little in site as to what your town Livermore is in for. Hope you aren't just a bunch of deadwood and will stand up for your entitlements. If not, oh well, I guess you like pain, suffering and misery. So let me ask all of you people at LLNL a question. How many of you are going TCP-1 were you are going to fund a plan with you hard earning for others screw up when you could in fact be funding your own under TCP-2? Can the stupid people please raise their hands. Please drop me a line or two so I can tally my winning bet. llnlemployeebenefits@doeal.gov

    Anonymous said...

    Damiani is a mix of ideologogical idiocy and vapidity. He has had a corrosive effect on the community.

    Anonymous said...

    I've yet to see a single one of our carpet-bagging LANS executives at *any* community events. Yes, this article has it about right. LANS is only here at LANL to suck this community dry, both financially and emotionally. They could care less about the old timers who love this place and call it home.

    Anonymous said...

    We have an LLNL director who actively steered the RRW competition towards his old alma mater, and a truly corrupt corporate presence that has spread throughout the rest of the top layers of LANL management. I can't help but believe that we have arrived at our current state by design, rather than chance. I truly believe DOE wants to shut LANL down, and that this is how they have chosen to do so.

    Anonymous said...

    Carpetbagger? Look who's calling who a carpetbagger. Los Alamos itself is a carpetbagger community, and that's a fact. If LANS offered a voluntary separation package you'd see a mass exodus of carpetbaggers, which in the end might salvage the Lab because those remaining presumably truly want to remain. Of course that's just too much common sense to embrace these days.

    Anonymous said...

    Where are the ol' faithfuls like Gary Stadling and Dave Foreslund when you need them for supporting the UC/LANS party line? I remember how they use to tell the less informed among the blogosphere that UC was out to help this community and the lab. Surely they've not also lost faith in the expertise and leadership of UC/LANS? Are they still true believers for the cause?

    Anonymous said...

    after the contract war and when Bechtel was the winner... the busloads of new "managers" came into town under cover of night. How many of the old managers (UC) survive above division level? Immediately LANS started re-organizing to accommodate the busloads of managers who all receive ridiculous salaries. LANS immediately created a top-heavy corporate structure with NO VALUE added and then started bitching right away about money problems....

    A year later, nothing is any better but the "managers" now get a bonus on top of big corporate salaries. The covered up John Mitchell and Board of Governor security breaches continue to recede into the Bechtel shadows.....

    Morale is lower now than is what under Nanos' fake stand down! Paranoia aside, you don't think the axe has been getting sharpened for years now to chop LANL into pieces?
    From the Wen Ho trumped up bullshit, through the Nanos stand down (based on NOTHING), and then the Quintana blowup about 30 years old classified rubbish? All the headlines with no real story. No one listens to the FACTS.... it's all part of the axing that's coming up so that LANL programs can be moved to California and Texas.

    Anonymous said...

    Carpet bagger community? Where do you want to stop? Turn-of-the-century settlers were carpet baggers. Spanish kicked the native pueblos off their lands, I suppose that makes Santa Fe the first and most prominent carpetbagger community. Enough. We're a community, and we work best when we celebrate our diversity and help each other in times of need. I was born and raised here. I know of no other community as home. And I'm proud of the diverse, friendly atmosphere among most of northern New Mexico.

    Please take your thinly-veiled racist comments and peddle your hate elsewhere. The anti-LANL crowd that posts here is not especially welcome with many of us.

    Anonymous said...

    I've submitted a number of critical postings about the Lab over time. I admit to being angry with UC and the 3 decades of bias I've encountered while working at the Lab. But I do care for the community, and the Lab is central to the community. And for what it's worth now, I do hope and pray for the current turmoil will end with the Lab firmly situated for another 50-plus years of national service. But I also hope that we will have learned a lesson along the way about how to treat one another with more respect, and perhaps also to stop taking ourselves too seriously or placing ourselves too high above the rest to recognize when our behavior perhaps needs to change. If there is any one lesson I think, to bring from all this, perhaps it's the fact that our best chances for staying afloat is by working together. For while some of the high-and-mighty may have been given a pass when the Titanic sank, most went down with the riff-raff and the average person who had no such advantage or helping hand. The same can be said for the the Los Alamos National Laboratory--only a few will have a golden parachute if the Lab goes down in flames. The rest of us won't. So perhaps it's time to unite, all employees, and stop the finger-pointing and name-calling. It's not about carpetbaggers, or support staff, or arrogant butt-head cowboy scientists...it's about all of us in this struggle for survival together. And if we don't unite, then we collectively place our future at risk. And so despite my past grievances with UC as some of the managers that still remain, I now put those aside for the good of the institution and for the survival of us all.

    Anonymous said...

    Funny you should bring up Stradling and Foreslund, 12:37. I was wondering about them myself recently. Those two are good examples of how a strict fundamentalist dogma (any kind, not just the religious kind) can blind a person to the realities of the world around him.

    It really didn't take much smarts to see this one coming, I'm just surprised that LANS and DOE have taken LANL this far down the path to complete irrelevance as quickly as they have. I thought it would take at least another year to get to this level of reduced funding and staff morale.

    Anonymous said...

    Yeah, but 12:57 you forget. With LANS increased efficiencies they can run LANL into the ground much faster than UC could.

    Anonymous said...

    This article in the Sunday Los Alamos Monitor by Carol Clark is gutter journalism of the worst type. I hope the Monitor reconsiders using her as one of their staff writers. It appears to me that the vindicative attitudes of this blog have now infected the local paper.

    LANS is trying to help this community, not destroy it. The community of Los Alamos needs to get behind LANS and back them in their efforts. It's not going to be easy, but I fully believe that LANS has the plan for making LANL grand! Support your LANS management and stop tearing down the lab.

    Anonymous said...

    It's not the "vindicative attitudes of this blog", it seems more to be the vindicative attitude of the general employee population at LANL.

    Anonymous said...

    Dude, back away from the crack pipe. You do know they're testing for that stuff at LANL now?

    Anonymous said...

    "LANS has the plan for making LANL grand!"

    Ummm... would you care to share that plan with us? Maybe start by bringing the FTE rate out of the stratosphere.
    After that you'd better whip those boys in Congress into shape so we don't suffer any funding cuts next year. Do you have a plan for that?
    Please share!

    Anonymous said...

    Before you slay the messenger could you point out why simply reporting the mood and fears of the community is "gutter journalism"? You sound like Putin!
    Truth is nobody even knows what LANS LLC is. It apparently is a shell company incorporated in Delaware. Who runs it, its contracts with DOE, policies, and its intentions are all shrouded in secrecy.
    "Trust us, we're from the government (LANS)" just doesn't cut it anymore.

    Anonymous said...

    Re: the 6/24/07 2:14 PM post:

    Now *that*, ladies and gentlemen is what we call a troll. Try not to get too foamy-mouthed in responding to it.

    Anonymous said...

    Wow, you know this is my first time reading this blog and I am surprised at how bitter and unhappy you all are. You know, you don't have to stay that way. If you are unhappy with your job, or your company, or your management, or all of them, then leave. Don't complain about it. Don't keep talking about it. Just do it. It's really that simple.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree 2:14, I've always thought of LANS as grand. Figured their name should reflect it - Grand LANS, or GLANS for short.

    Anonymous said...

    Why is quotting Los Alamos residents gutter journalism?

    And haven't posters to this blog implied some of these in their posts?

    # "LANS management isn't vested in local community/most live elsewhere";

    # "they aren't seen in local stores or restaurants";

    # "too many Bechtel employees brought in - leaving LANL employees without enough work";

    # "an ever-looming threat of layoffs is killing local business";

    # "LANS officials have bloated salaries;"

    # "management arrogance";

    # "LANS is sucking the community dry"; and

    # "it's all about profits now."

    How many of the above are not true statements?

    Anonymous said...

    2:55 sure sounds like a LANS manager!
    They don't address any issues. They just tell everybody to love it or leave it.

    Anonymous said...


    I'm not a manager, I'm one in the trenches just like you but I refuse to sit here and whine and complain without doing something to better my situation and expecting those higher up to take care of me, because I know they are not!

    Anonymous said...

    6/24/07 2:55 PM -- No, its not that simple. The reason is, housing prices are headed down, way down, and people are stuck financially -- they can't get out of their mortgages. Many, many bought palatial houses at the tippy top (June 06?). Heck, many bought "investment" properties in town too. I know 5 families with more than 4 mortgages each. Part of the downturn is national (mortgage rates are headed up for forseable future), and the other part is the local meltdown. So many are stuck, and underwater. And its going to get much much worse as national housing deflation combines with layoffs at LANL. At some point, I'm sure there will be a full on panic, and we may see 1/2 off sale in RE, as desperate homedebtors scream panic and run for the exists. Note that many are also forcasting a heavy downturn in the economy, and perhaps an inflationary depression. Be carefull of bailing out of the fryingpan into the fire. A very interesting blog for those interested in the national RE market is housingpanic.blogspot.com.

    Anonymous said...

    I don't think everyone who posts here is bitter or unhappy. The high frequency noise gets filtered out by readers. The few comments I've put up have been related to data.

    I would describe myself as neutral as far as LANS and LANL. No funding I leave, funding I stay. Why would I expect otherwise? I don't think LANL owes me anything. The same goes for me and LANL. LANL is not forcing me to stay. I consider LANL the best place I've ever worked. Fortunately, I've never had a security or safety mishap. Put in my 80 hours, do the best I can and call it a pay period.

    The only request I've made of my management is to tell me if a RIF is coming, so I can go from there. If I think it will happen and they are not forthcoming, I will make plans. Again, why would I do otherwise? I am at too low a level to waste time whining. What am I going to do, tell my GL I don't like what DOE or NNSA or LANS or Congress is doing? Give me a break.

    I have no personal knowledge of any of the people or incidents discussed on this blog. I wouldn't formulate an opinion on people unless I met them and spoke with them. I've never seen, let alone met, the Director or any other LANS management PAD or AD in person. I might recognize the Director if I saw him, but I doubt I would recognize any of the other PADs and ADs if I saw them, including my own. It's not that important to me.

    Anonymous said...

    Poster 4:15 PM, sorry to say this, but you sound like prime RIF-bait; the typical hard working, unknown, unseen worker at LANL who probably hasn't been here for all that many years and has little contact or knowledge of his upper management chain.

    In regards to the RIF, yes, it's coming. No, your management won't tell you about it till it's a done deal. Make plans now. Hope you don't have the additional burden of owning a house on the Hill.

    Anonymous said...

    Not only are RE prices going to drop, but the GRT revenue will drop also. Will the County pull out of their stupid Trinity Site development and start looking for ways to bring in more light industry, perhaps expand UNM-LA to a full time campus, encourage nonprofit spinoffs from LANL, and do other smart things to bring work to town?

    Of course not. The council is sure that more retail is the answer because of course they now own the bus system so will be busing workers up here and those who are left after LANS sucks LANL dry will be more than happy to pay the exhorbitant prices at yuppie shops.

    Not only will RE prices drop but local GRT and property taxes will rise to pay off the bonds for the great shopping center. Of course, all the councilors who have supported it will no longer be in office so we can't recall them. But I bet some of them are wondering about the glowing support they gave Anastasio just before the latest security flap. Can you say egg on your face, Council?

    Anonymous said...

    "At some point, I'm sure there will be a full on panic, and we may see 1/2 off sale in RE, as desperate homedebtors scream panic and run for the exists." (Previous Post)

    Whoopy! Half price housing on sell in the mountain community of Los Alamos. Tell all your friends and relatives in California and Texas to come on up and get some seriously good deals from extremely motivated sellers!

    Our pain is your gain.

    Hurry, quantities are limited and this offer will not be repeated.

    At Crazy Eddies Real Estate of Los Alamos, our housing prices are truly insaaaaaneeee!!!

    Anonymous said...


    Anonymous said...

    Poster 4:41 PM,

    The current county council, lead by Jim West, have no shame. Check out "The Bomb Town News Observer" blog from May 31st. Seems some very shady stuff has been going on with our County Council. When LANL tanks, expect to see your property taxes sky-rocket to pay for all of the 'sweat-heart' construction deals in town. The Boys from Boyer are taking over! Be sure to read the numereous comments to this article. Some of the activity that has apparently been going on in the dark corners of our County government border on the criminal.



    Cha-ching! BTNO - May 31st, 2007

    An out-of-state developer contributed $200,000 to influence the outcome of a bond election last January in tiny Los Alamos, according to documents filed with the New Mexico Secretary of State.

    ..The fact that an out-of-state developer spent 100 times that much on the election is a sure-fire indication that the company stands to make buckets of cash from the development. One conservative estimate of the strip mall's profit potential indicates a potential net of $40 million. Boyer's willingness to toss around astounding amounts of money in a successful attempt to buy an election can't help but make some people ponder what else was purchased to help grease the skids of "Progress" here in tiny Bomb Town?

    It also raises the question of whether the Trinity Strip Mall really is in Bomb Town's best interests or only Boyer's?

    Anonymous said...

    6/24/07 4:41 PM. The biggest, snootiest homedebtors were also those that pushed hardest for 529. As sales taxes go through the floor, they will be the ones to pay for the new shoping center with their much higher property taxes. And note, property values used to compute taxes are sticky. They go up, but don't come down. Just look at AZ to see that. Oh, the sweet, sweet schandenfreude.

    Anonymous said...

    So what about the LA County employee pensions? Are the residents stuck with financing those? That could be a real killer given the size of this County government. Or is it the NM state system that the County pays into so the state has the liability?

    Anonymous said...

    5:06 PM, at least we'll have a Walmart at the entry into town. Low prices everyday, cheaply made goods from China, and lots of low paying jobs for those who get laid off at LANL! It's the wave of the future. Los Alamos has been very slow about joining this new world. With LANS' help, we'll be able to make up for lost time.

    Anonymous said...

    Just like CALPERS and the TCP1 fund, I'm sure that county pensions are loaded up with the ultra high quality CDOs squared and cubed. Those should be AAA for at least another few weeks (snicker).

    Anonymous said...

    Hey, get out of my way! I have first dibs on that Walmart Greeter's job. It's mind, do you hear?

    Anonymous said...

    6/24/07 5:30 PM, Yeah, cheap crap from China will be cheap for a little while longer, untill we put tarifs on the Chinease. Congress is desperately trying to revalue the yuan dollar pair. Look also at what the yen is doing now. Its the onlything keeping our markets afloat (cheap yen, cheap china crap). Watch for that to all unwind in the months ahead. Crashing dollar. Asian trade war. Crashing stockmarket. Crashing housing. Huricane season. Oil, milk, wheat skyrocketing. Maybe the war in Iraq will start to go well?

    Anonymous said...

    4:40, I agree about the RIF bait. TSM with a PhD. MAWG, figure that puts me toward the top of any TSM list. I no longer have a house; I anticipated this and sold before the transition. Agree that management will likely not give much notice. Been there, done that. I keep hearing even if funding restored, there are problems. We'll see how it goes. Working backup plan.

    Anonymous said...

    We aren't the only ones to have issues:

    BWXT whistle-blower seeks appeal
    Pantex rejects claims hard drive missing

    By Jim McBride

    Robin O'Shaughnessy / Amarillo Globe-News
    Attorney Steve Sharp, above, represents Pantex whistle-blower Clint Olson, who is seeking about $20,000 in back pay and legal fees for reporting his concerns about the proper destruction of classified weapons data at Pantex.

    Hard drive 492 was missing and Pantex counterintelligence officer Clint Olson wanted answers.

    The drive contained nuclear warhead detonation secrets and no one could account for its whereabouts. He told his boss Pantex security couldn't prove the computer drive and its highly classified cache of data had been destroyed.

    Curtis Broaddus, then head of BWXT Pantex's counterintelligence division, quickly notified top BWXT officials, the Energy Department and the FBI, which investigated the missing drive incident.

    Since that February 2002 day, Olson's pointed queries about drive 492 have evolved into a long legal battle with BWXT Pantex, which manages the nuclear weapons assembly plant for the DOE.

    Last month, a government administrator reversed a hearing officer's decision that ruled BWXT retaliated against Olson for reporting his concerns to higher-ups. Olson, who filed a 2004 federal whistle-blower claim against BWXT, plans to appeal the decision denying his claim for $20,000 in back pay and legal fees.

    Pantex disputes claims

    Top Pantex officials characterized the drive issue as a case of missing paperwork and rejected Olson's claims. A supervisor told investigators he was "quite sure" he destroyed the drive about the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A security infraction report that initially prompted Olson's concerns about the drive concluded no secret weapons data was compromised.

    Later, a top security manager would testify that BWXT couldn't verify it scrapped the drive. The report's conclusions were quietly changed to "probability of compromise is remote."

    Sigma 15 warhead data

    Olson's complaints soon irked at least one top BWXT official, but the longtime counterintelligence officer and former Pantex security guard felt justified in what he had done.

    Drive 492 contained Sigma 15 data, some of the nation's most closely guarded nuclear secrets. Sigma 15 data, in the wrong hands, could be used to spark an atomic blast. Two years before, two classified disks had been reported missing at Los Alamos National Laboratory and later turned up behind an office copier.

    The Pantex drive also carried a serial number, one that didn't match a list of other destroyed drives. Another nagging detail bothered Olson: Highly classified drives destined for destruction carry a fluorescent sticker. But a Pantex supervisor couldn't recall destroying any drives plastered with the special sticker.

    'Complete Breakdown'

    A memo issued by the office of Gary Wisdom, the government's senior Pantex technical adviser, would later describe the episode as a "complete breakdown" of plant processes for protecting classified weapons data.

    The March 6, 2002, memo said personnel failed to follow procedures for transferring Sigma 15 data from one person to another; failed to properly document its destruction; and failed to ensure that all personnel with sole control of Sigma 15 data were authorized to have access.

    Two Pantex employees were disciplined for security infractions because they violated strict chain-of-custody procedures for destroying classified weapons data.

    Wisdom's office told BWXT's Safeguards and Security Division to fix the problem and instructed supervisors to notify the office immediately when any classified computer media could not be found.

    "We cannot help or prevent an escalation of events in similar problems if we are not kept in the loop," the memo said.

    But Wisdom and other plant officials maintained that the drive had been destroyed.

    FBI investigation

    DOE counterintelligence opened its own investigation, but closed the inquiry in March 2002. It concluded there was no evidence foreign nationals were linked to the missing drive and determined the case needed "no further action."

    The FBI also launched its own investigation. A senior FBI agent later would testify the FBI's probe centered on whether the hard drive was accounted for, if BWXT employees were criminally negligent and whether espionage was involved. The investigation, he said, could not prove or disprove drive 492 - with its top secret information - had been destroyed.

    "We found no evidence to confirm the destruction of the hard drive, nor did we uncover evidence to the contrary, that it had not been destroyed. Therefore, we have no reason to conclude anything other than the Inquiry Report, other than that it was destroyed."

    The FBI determined BWXT Pantex personnel were not criminally negligent in their handling of the drive and found no evidence of foreign involvement. The case was not forwarded for prosecution.

    Despite BWXT security's conclusion that the drive was scrapped, the FBI's findings differed from BWXT's in one key respect: The FBI acknowledged the possibility that "something else" could have happened to the classified hard drive.

    Hearing officer finds retaliation

    In October 2005, DOE Hearing Officer Kent Woods ruled BWXT retaliated against Olson. Olson alleged plant officials quashed proposed raises for him and other counterintelligence officers because of his disclosures.

    "I find that (Olson's) disclosures that highly restricted nuclear information remained unaccounted for at the Pantex facility revealed a substantial and specific danger both to Pantex employees and to the general public's health, safety and security," Woods wrote.

    Woods also cited other evidence that indicated BWXT punished Olson for reporting the hard drive incident.

    A human resources manager testified former BWXT Pantex General Manager Denny Ruddy initially supported the idea of raising salaries for counterintelligence personnel, but later wanted them "stopped dead in the water" because of the hard-drive investigation. Former BWXT Human Resources Manager John Merwin also testified Ruddy believed the hard drive investigation was "out of control" and that Ruddy said he wanted to "ruin" Broaddus. Merwin later filed his own whistle-blower claim, which a government hearing officer denied.

    DOE overturns ruling

    A month ago, the acting director with DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals overturned Woods' decision and denied Olson's claims for $20,000 in back pay and legal fees. The officer ruled that a DOE official overstepped her bounds when she proposed raises for BWXT Pantex counterintelligence officers during a meeting with BWXT. BWXT, the director said, had proven by "clear and convincing evidence" that it would have taken the same action without Olson's revelations about the drive investigation.

    The hearing officer's decision also cited a letter from Pantex Site Office Manager Dan Glenn, who said Catherine Sheppard, chief of the Office of Defense Nuclear Counterintelligence, had no authority regarding compensation for BWXT employees like Olson. The ruling said Olson also received merit raises.

    The boss, the escort and a dinner date

    Broaddus, too, would file a similar whistle-blower complaint against BWXT. But a government investigation into a dinner date with a Washington, D.C., escort would eventually strip Broaddus of his top-secret clearance and his senior counterintelligence post. Broaddus' whistle-blower complaint eventually was dismissed by a DOE hearing officer.

    In 2002, the Energy Department learned Broaddus charged $350 on his BWXT credit card to hire an escort for a Valentine's Day dinner date while he was on official travel.

    Broaddus told an investigator he didn't have sex with the escort. A subsequent government audit revealed that several top BWXT managers also had used company credit cards for personal expenses.

    The DOE later suspended Broaddus' access to classified information while it investigated various allegations leveled against him by BWXT and the DOE. He was escorted off the Pantex site and fired.

    Tim Pridmore, Broaddus' attorney, said his client is appealing his case.

    "I believe my client was terminated under false pretenses. The real reason he was fired is that he reported missing confidential information to the proper authorities, and BWXT retaliated against him for reporting the same. We are currently appealing his initial hearing decision, and we feel confident the truth will come out eventually."

    'The rattle out of the box'

    Olson, who later moved into a classification officer's post, said the counterintelligence division's duties soon changed in the wake of the hard drive investigation.

    "We were basically limited to talking to people after they got back from Mexico to do a debriefing on them. That's basically what it boiled down to," he said.

    But Olson said he was right to pursue the investigation and felt vindicated by the FBI's probe.

    "The FBI came in, took one look at it and they opened their own inquiry into it. Right then, that told me we did everything we were supposed to do. The FBI, the premier law enforcement agency, takes a look at one of our investigations and comes to the same conclusion we do," Olson said. "They thought something was up because I know they scheduled 20, 30 interviews with people out there."

    Steve Sharp, Olson's Amarillo attorney, said his client left his position to take another, lower-paying classification officer's job. He said his client has not received formal notice of the DOE's latest ruling.

    "This man had absolutely nothing to gain. Nothing. He was the first one with his head on the chopping block. He was the rattle out of the box, trying to bring it to light," Sharp said. "There was no way to stay in counterintelligence because there was no integrity, because there was no truth, there was no justice. Anybody that's remotely connected with this thing that has not played ball is no longer there."

    BWXT still believes drive destroyed

    BWXT Pantex said it is pleased that DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals accepted its case arguments and reversed the hearing officer's previous decision. The company said it would continue to defend the case aggressively if Olson appeals.

    "We believe that drive 492 was destroyed. BWXT Pantex and the DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration concluded that although the drive was destroyed without appropriate documentation, it was correctly protected in repositories until destruction," BWXT said. "The NNSA's Office of Counterintelligence concurred that this matter did not have a counterintelligence relationship and closed the case. The matter was appropriately reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation."

    In the drive investigation's aftermath, BWXT bought new equipment and completely revised its process for destroying classified information.

    "The new process requires a witness to be present during parts of the process. The new destruction process has passed two independent evaluations," the company said.

    Olson now plans to appeal his case directly to Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. He said he's worried BWXT will fire him but stands by his decision to report the drive 492 incident.

    "It scares the dog out of me, but I'm a God-fearing man, and I believe I'll be taken care of," he said.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with 7:10 PM - another recent example of abuse is to the PD in C-Division who was forced by her supervisor to clean glassware with corrosive gas-releasing aqua regia (with no ventilation), was a whistle-blower at LANL and went up the food chain at LANL to report what happened to her. Wallace (AD at the time - since has been promoted), her DL, her GL and Lab Legal all promised her protection for coming forward. She did and believed she would be taken care of. She was ... she got fired.

    Anonymous said...

    gotta laugh here. last night drifted through La Fonda and saw that last week (?)or over the weekend (?) that BWXT Pantex senior managers had a retreat there in the NM Room.

    Like Amarillo doesn't have someplace to meet. Let's spend mucho $$ to go to Santa Fe.. We can rub some elbows with the LANS mgmt.

    Give me a friggin' break.. 30 years with LASL/LANL and what a bunch of BS. Every morning I go to work and still see someone with Tennessee or Georgia or South Carolina license plates. If you are so friggin committed to this endeavor then fully move here.

    And they are ALL driving little BMWs or Audi's. Geez.. talk about flaunting your new found effluence.

    Just noted two newcomers just bought matching Harley's. Bragged about how they had come here from SRS. Wished I could have a new Harley and a $1M house, and know that I was privileged....

    I'm friggin wore out from all these people. I'm seeing more and more Oregon and Missouri license plates. Any one got a clue?

    Anonymous said...

    Anyone that wants to check the oncomming glut of property in LA (and SFe too) can check it at
    For kicks, give Phoenix a look.

    Anonymous said...

    I also agree with 7:10. Like 7:19 I also ran into the Amarillo BWXT contingent getting inebriated. I understand they were in Santa Fe for their annual retreat, I meant "team exercises". The folks at Pantex get screwed like we do. Most work very hard while their senior managers rake in big bonuses and are no where to be found on weekends or holidays. I also understand that Mallory knew about the hardrive.

    Anonymous said...

    it's basic - it's criminal, and it's greed

    Anonymous said...

    > And they are ALL driving little BMWs or Audi's. Geez.. talk about flaunting your new found effluence.

    Ha ha, that's funny!
    You meant, "affluence" but effluence is probably apropos, too.

    Anonymous said...

    Anonymous said...
    > And they are ALL driving little BMWs or Audi's. Geez.. talk about flaunting your new found effluence.

    Ha ha, that's funny!
    You meant, "affluence" but effluence is probably apropos, too.

    6/25/07 9:31 AM

    So typical of LANL. Worry about the semantics. Focus on the itsy bitsy detail and ingore the fact that LANL is being raped by greedy criminals.

    oh shit, is my grammar correct?

    Anonymous said...

    Perhaps he meant flatulating newfound effluence.

    Anonymous said...

    LANS is negotiating with the State to lower their gross receipts tax. The State will probably allow it because they are uninformed that the Managers on the top tier have doubled since LANS came in. On the second tier there are four times the number of managers. On page 7 of the Mercer Human Resource Report it states that LANS Managers earn 130% above the market value than any one else in the country.


    Mercer Human Resource Report
    Date: March 3, 2007
    Title: Total Compensation Design and .....
    Prepared for LANS
    By: Marsh and McLennan Company

    NNSA Proposal, Amendment #2

    Approved by DOE.

    Anonymous said...

    f the Mercer Human Resource

    Is the LANS behavior human?

    Anonymous said...

    Maybe if you consider the worst possible aspects of human nature, then go even lower.....LANS

    Anonymous said...

    The Monitor and the county council in Los Alamos make me sick. I have to read about poor Roger Waterman and how he is making fewer millions. Not one single word EVER, about all the people who have already lost their jobs--the county council (and the state) is too busy rubbing their hands with glee that they have finally gotten their "due"--gross-receipts taxes from the lab. Families who have lost their livelihood don't count. Not one single person who works at the lab is ever asked what they think. We are just here to be over charged and under served by the people who count--the business owners. If not enough people seem to be shopping in town, blame hardworking people for not wanting to pay merchants who can't even provide the courtesy of staying open a bit later than 5.
    There won't be any RIFs, but hundreds of people have and will lose their jobs. Just so the county and state get their share of the pie and the newly rich managers here make the "right" political contributions. VOTE them all OUT, the local pols and everyone of them in Washington! We have done our best to make the nation great and we are getting screwed because it is politically expedient and of course, private business does everything better.

    Anonymous said...

    OK, just to stir some discussion. How many BMW's, Jaguar's, Audi's, Lincoln's, and Land Rover's were there in Los Alamos, before LANS? How many salaries were "above the market value" (particularly for New Mexico) before LANS? (And no I'm not a "high level LANS manager," not a troll, and I will not answer to moron.)

    Anonymous said...

    "Superintendent Jim Anderson has been in charge of Los Alamos Public Schools for some 14 years. He shared his perceptions and concerns during a recent interview.
    And obviously a concern for all of us has to be the recent actions by the House of Representatives and the proposed budget cuts at Los Alamos and other labs."
    "I think it's fairly consistent in the last few years that this gets worked out in the conference committee between the House and Senate," Anderson said. "That's where Domenici (Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.) and Bingaman (Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M.) have been able to salvage our budgets most of the time. We'll see once again if Domenici and Bingaman can do damage control."

    Anderson recently met with LANL officials to discuss the properties LAPS lease to the lab.

    "On a positive note, they have renewed their commitment to lease our facilities out into the future," Anderson said."

    As the superintendent of LAPS, notice how he talks about concern over the proposed budget cuts; how Domenici and Bingaman have been able to salvage OUR budgets; and the positive news that LANL will continue leasing school facilities, more cash from the Lab. The sense of entitlement is overwhelming.

    Anonymous said...

    Was downtown the other evening and looked in the window of Central Ave Grill. Only one table was in use in the whole establishment!

    The wallets of those who live in Los Alamos have definitely slammed shut. Many local businesses are set to go belly-up during the next year. We are about to see hard times in this community, the likes of which we've never seen before, thanks to Congress, LANS, and NNSA.

    Anonymous said...

    It would be different to see Los Alamos look like White Rock.

    Anonymous said...

    Spending may have be down in Los Alamos, but how many Los Alamos folks are still spending plenty in Santa Fe?

    Anonymous said...

    Man, you sure are a depressing bunch. I certainly understand the high level of angst. What I don't get is the apparent total lack of positive effort to deal with some of these issues. And no, whining and being catty on a BLOG does not count.

    I'm reminded of the saying that two wrongs don't make a right. Get some clue, get a plan and get to work already.