Dec 19, 2007

DOE Wants Ex-Worker to Pay

By Raam Wong, Albuquerque Journal Staff Writer

Jessica Quintana's attempt to catch up on work at Los Alamos National Laboratory last year could cost her $384,000 if the Department of Energy has its way.

The Energy Department wants the former Los Alamos contract worker to pay restitution for downloading and printing classified information that she took home with her, attorney Stephen Aarons said in recently filed court documents.

Quintana in July pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified material and is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in federal court in Albuquerque.

In a presentencing memo filed Dec. 14, Aarons says it would be unjustified for Quintana to have to pay for the copied documents which are of "negligible replacement value."

Numerous other government officials have mishandled classified information and earned little more than a slap on the wrist, the memo states.

In one case, classified material was discovered in the trunk of a car belonging to a former ambassador to the Soviet Union following a traffic accident, according to the memo. The ambassador was reprimanded and continued in the Foreign Service, the memo states.

And more recently, Samuel Berger, the national security adviser in the Clinton White House, was fined $10,000 after he took classified documents out of the National Archives.

The memo also mentions the members of Los Alamos' corporate management team who in January e-mailed classified nuclear weapons information over unsecured channels.

"Not surprisingly, there were no disciplinary steps taken against the senior executives, let alone a criminal prosecution as seen in the present case," the memo states.

The memo continues: "It seems ironic that the Laboratory would request restitution in this case when the employee happens to have been a college student earning 14 credits at the University of New Mexico while working part time at Los Alamos to help pay for her tuition.

"As the probation office already noted, she is hardly in a position to pay sums to the Department of Energy even if the court considered it just to do in this instance."

Quintana also faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine, although prosecutors have not opposed her request for probation.

The memo states that neither Quintana's probation officer nor the U.S. Attorney General's Office is urging restitution as appropriate in the case. John Broehm, a spokesman with DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration, said he could not comment on the matter because it remains an ongoing legal proceeding.

The Energy Department has already fined the lab's corporate manager, Los Alamos National Security, $300,000 for the security breakdown, while the lab's former manager, the University of California, recently agreed to pay a $2.8 million fine.

The discovery of the classified material— found during an October 2006 drug bust focused on Quintana's roommate— triggered fresh scrutiny of Los Alamos, which has been besieged with high-profile security problems in recent years.

In his memo, Aarons states that Quintana's negligence brought to light the Energy Department's own shortcomings.

"Though Ms. Quintana was criminally negligent, her negligence was in large measure only a symptom of systemic problems at the Laboratory and environmental forces beyond her control," Aarons states.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? $384K seems to be let of cheap.

Anonymous said...

"Though Ms. Quintana was criminally negligent, her negligence was in large measure only a symptom of systemic problems at the Laboratory and environmental forces beyond her control," Aarons states.

Another duh!

Anonymous said...

Give me a break DOE! Why don't you just take out back and beat the shit out her. While you are at it, take the rest of the management team out back also.

Anonymous said...

She should have had the foresight to be born anglo. Male might not have been a bad idea either. Maybe wealthy, or at least upper middle class.

Try harder next time, JQ.

Anonymous said...

personal responsibility and accountablility...from a regular drug user?

Anonymous said...

Maybe DOE has figured out that they had a real bargain with the UC contract versus what they have now with LANS, and they need to recover costs in any and all ways possible. They should go after Nanos, he cost them a pretty penny.

Anonymous said...

If they want Jessica the Q to pay that much in "restitution", the DoE better hire her back on as a scientist at scientist's wages.

Otherwise, they get nothing, 'cause there ain't nothing to get.

Anonymous said...

"Samuel Berger, the national security adviser in the Clinton White House, was fined $10,000 after he took classified documents out of the National Archives."

According to news reports those Sandy Berger documents where: (1) stuffed down his pant legs, and then (2) hidden by Sandy in a construction pipe outside the Archives building, which resulted in the docs being (3) lost! Oh, and they were TS/SCI docs involving terrorist activities, just so we're clear on the matter

Then there is John Deutsch who, as head of the CIA, took home TS/SCI computer files involving terrorism and placed them on his home PC hooked to the internet (which was also found to have been used to surf porn sites). He had been offered a secure government PC for home use but declined the offer. Today he's a highly paid consultant in Washington DC.

And least we forget, The PlameGate affair resulted in outing of an undercover CIA agent by the Whitehouse. The aide fingered for the leak had his sentence commuted by Bush and is widely expected to have the charges fully pardoned on the day that Bush leaves office.

If JQ is going to be fined over $300 K for some ancient SRD docs, then Sandy Berger and John Deutsch should have been hit with a fine of about $300 M and Scooter Libby should be sitting in jail. I'm no defender of JQ but there is a lot of hypocrisy in this action. The message it broadcasts is that only the little guy gets screwed to the wall when a security incident occurs.

Anonymous said...

12/19/07 6:52 PM

The ability to get a Q means you can be trusted. How about is you have a Q and you intentionlly bypass security requirements you lose your life.

Big Brother cannot always be there, and a Q announces trust.

Let her fry.

Anonymous said...

.

12/19/07 6:53 PM

opt for the easy way out

Anonymous said...

12/19/07 7:11 PM

Fuck yourself you stupid arrogant skid mark. Race has not one single thing to do with intentional disregard for secrurity regulations. Are you past the first grade?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, without lanl the hispanic/mexican population would be subsistance farmers. How dare you give us a chance at a better education and ability to assimilate with the rest of the country.

Fuck - just give us money. Bring race into this, and the passive lack of tolerance of pure stupidity disappers.

Anonymous said...

Fuck her. Let her spend the rest of her life paying the tab. Imagine if she had killed your child, only the crime is exponentially more serious.

Do you not get the implications? Is it that hard to understand?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
She should have had the foresight to be born anglo. Male might not have been a bad idea either. Maybe wealthy, or at least upper middle class.

Try harder next time, JQ.

12/19/07 7:11 PM

You know - I was born to a hispanic mother. Based upon the behavior of the "entitled" I am embarassed of that fact. Do you have a clue of what people go through to become Masters, PhD's? I doubt any of you lazy motherfuckers can meet the minimum. Yes - I am pissed.

Anonymous said...

How about a public hanging?

Anonymous said...

"According to news reports those Sandy Berger documents where: (1) stuffed down his pant legs, and then (2) hidden by Sandy in a construction pipe outside the Archives building, which resulted in the docs being (3) lost!"

According to POGO these documents are lost too. The computer at home she was using "to catch up" was traded for drugs and never recovered.

Anonymous said...

I think JQ should be punished for her crime by the legal system. I don't understand how in the world DOE came up with that sort of a fine figure. Might as well make it $1B. She'll never be able to pay that much either. I don't see the point of this.

Anonymous said...

Most people have never meet JQ. If you had, you would be thinking only one thing...

WTF! How did this stupid girl ever get cleared for a Sigma 15!!!

All those people who signed off on the Sigma 15 should be required to help pitch in salary for this DOE fine. That include some people sitting over in DOE. It's called "due diligence" and lots of people in this case didn't bother to do it.

Anonymous said...

12/19/07 10:43 PM

Total agreement. ADC, need to know. Not allowed to do job because of lack of Sigma 15.

People need to fry.

Anonymous said...

12/19/07 10:31 PM

Duh- Make her pay some ugodly amount to discourage other pissants.

I still think a publuc hanging.

Am somepoint we have to pull our heads out of our assess. Why not now. The platform will be donated.

Anonymous said...

I think the people that cleard JQ or hired her in the first place should be fined. She really could not help what she did so it is not her fault. Hire better people ... hire better people ... hire. Forget it, just hire who ever.

Anonymous said...

DOE is in the arrogant position of "everybody is to blame but me"

Who approved her clearance? What name is in the approving signature box?

If Ray J's inattention to minion WHL can lose him a directorship, certainly a little blood sacrifice is warranted for the sleeping bozo who signed that she's "good to go".

Anonymous said...

12/19/07 11:33 PM

Drunk?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
12/19/07 11:33 PM

Drunk?

12/19/07 11:41 PM


Catcalling the kettle black. At least being drunk explains some of the frustration boiling over. Apparently that bothers you, and you decide to reciprocate with a 6th grader mentlity. Go home. Slowly pull the head out of the ass.

Too bad we do not have a dipshit elimation round

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
12/19/07 11:33 PM

Drunk?

12/19/07 11:41 PM


But -you are the problem. Areyou intelligently able to understand or are you a part of Fallwell's competence declined?

Anonymous said...

Pussies.

Anonymous said...

12/19/07 11:33 PM

Equal opportunity, hiring representative numbers (regardless of overall qualification) has led to this problem.

Anonymous said...

"Though Ms. Quintana was criminally negligent, her negligence was in large measure only a symptom of systemic problems at the Laboratory and environmental forces beyond her control," Aarons states.

Oh, please.

How many other Q-cleared people worked in that area and didn't do what she did?

Anonymous said...

Oh, please.

How many other Q-cleared people worked in that area and didn't do what she did?

12/20/07 12:57 PM


One step further - how many Q cleared people willfuly and flagrantly compromise security?

Sounds like criminally negligent to me. She should be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

Vet your employees well, pay them well, treat them well, and give them solid job security. If NNSA would do this, then problems like the JQ fiasco would be few and far between.

Instead, we are currently headed in exactly the opposite direction. Morale at LANL just keeps sinking lower and lower.

Thanks, NNSA. You'll likely be seeing more JQ type incidents in the future because of the cut-rate worker mentality you're pushing upon the complex.

Anonymous said...

12/20/07 12:57 PM

No, really! It was an accident! She slipped on some ice, a thumb drive just jumped out of her pocket and the files automatically transferred onto it.

Anonymous said...

And what about that fellow on LANS's board who was e-mailing top secret information?

Oh, silly me! A man. In management. Not Hispanic.

Never mind.

Anonymous said...

No, really! It was an accident! She slipped on some ice, a thumb drive just jumped out of her pocket and the files automatically transferred onto it.

12/20/07 1:20 PM

Oooooh. *That* explains the Yak-Traks

Anonymous said...

Who cares what she is? No one has brought that up. Everyone is concerned with what she did.

Open your bigoted eyes and see LANL for what it is - a melting pot. Not only a melting pot, but a melting pot of numerous people from different cultures that pursued higher education.

Anonymous said...

"Open your bigoted eyes and see LANL for what it is - a melting pot. Not only a melting pot, but a melting pot of numerous people from different cultures that pursued higher education."

Except JQ, which is what this post was all about. It's really a shame that she got off so lightly - probation, no fine. Seems pretty weak to me. I'd be happy if they added something like "Idiot" tattooed across her forehead as an alternative to the fine.

Anonymous said...

12/20/07 8:24 PM

I don't care about the race or nationality. This is a joke. JQ needs to go to jail with a huge fine and jail time. It was an intentional act.

I think the message is clear - steal classified information, and you will only get a slap on the wrist.

What a joke. I think we, as a nation, should vote all of the intelligently declined out of office. Sorry the corrupt. Thieves.......oops....yes.. that is why she got off, they are protectingone of their own...CRIMINAL

Anonymous said...

I see the alcohol is flowing freely tonight, 9:10 PM. Or is it a crack pipe, instead?

Anonymous said...

How about putting in DOE fines for all security infractions that occur at LANL? That could really help boost morale!

* Leave a safe check unsigned at the end of the day? $500.

* Accidentally bring a cell phone behind the fence? $1000.

* Allow a computer virus to get into your PC? $10,000.

* Take home SRD documents and place them in a trailer in front of your meth-crazed friends? $350,000

* Pass along SRD emails using unclassified systems to the whole LANS Board of Governors? PRICELESS!