Retired scientist points the finger at Los Alamos police chief
CAROL A. CLARK Monitor County Editor
Physicist Richard Morse insists Los Alamos Police Chief Wayne Torpy is masquerading as the town's top law enforcement official, when he is actually working undercover for the FBI.
Morse, who is currently retired, said he has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory on and off for some 20 years. His resume states that he earned a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of California at San Diego in 1965.
Morse explained why he believes Torpy is a fed in chief's clothing.
"A friend here was aware of Torpy through a friend in Florida," Morse said. "That friend said Torpy graduated from Quantico - the FBI Academy."
Torpy responded to the undercover allegation this morning.
"It's not true," Torpy said, "but if it was, I would be proud to be a member of that law enforcement organization."
Torpy explained that he has a framed FBI certificate hanging on his office wall and he does wear an FBI ring. They were given to him in 2002, Torpy said, following his completion of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., a program geared for law enforcement officials.
He also received an FBI license plate, which is attached to the front of his car.
Torpy's resume reads like a career cop with no link to the bureau except his participation in the FBI academy. He served 17 years with the Melbourne Police Department in Florida and had another 10 years before that in law enforcement before he was hired to head the Los Alamos Police Department in March 2005.
Morse had a scrape with local police last November. He explained that he was pulled over by an officer advising him that he had a low tire on his car. He was then arrested on an outstanding warrant for a previous car accident.
He said he was taken to jail and offered "some orange-and-white striped prison pajamas."
"I asked to be photographed in my pullover instead, being concerned that I would be defamed by these photographs being circulated outside the jail," Morse said.
He said he has since tried to hire a lawyer to represent him against the police department.
FBI spokesman Bill Elwell addressed the situation during a telephone interview this morning.
"I am not aware that the police chief of Los Alamos is employed by the bureau of investigation," Elwell said. "It doesn't work that way, so he would not be an undercover special agent."
Elwell said the FBI National Academy is an executive law enforcement course. It is not for FBI agents but for local law enforcement officials.
"It's very prestigious because it takes many years to get a slot in that program," Elwell said.