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Project on Government Oversight




Whistleblowers at Los Alamos Fired in Retaliation

November 22, 2002 


Yesterday, two individuals were fired at Los Alamos National Laboratories who had successfully been exposing credit card and purchase order fraud as well as security problems. "All signs indicate that leaders at Los Alamos were motivated in the firing by a desire to silence these and other individuals who are uncovering widespread corruption," stated Danielle Brian, Executive Director of the Project On Government Oversight.

One of the individuals, Glenn Walp authored a memo that ultimately drew extensive media and Congressional attention to missing computers, radio devices, and other equipment at Los Alamos. Both individuals were responsible for the investigation that led to FBI search and arrest warrants for Lab employees stealing millions of dollars.

Mr. Walp, head of the Office of Security Inquiries until yesterday, received an outstanding job performance evaluation in October for the period of January through July 31, 2002 indicating 100% ratings. Both Mr. Walp and the second individual Steven Doran have impeccable credentials in the law enforcement field. Walp and Doran were fired by the Director of Safeguards and Security.

Mr. Walp and Mr. Doran were escorted out of their offices with half an hour of notice by armed guards from the Lab yesterday. They were fired with pay through December 10, 2002. In comparison, the employees who are accused of committing fraud against the lab have been placed on paid administrative leave. According to a November 22nd statement from University of California which runs the Lab for the Department of Energy: "UC has placed three employees on leave, terminated the employment of one contract employee...."

Since early November, anonymous individuals have leaked a series of documents to the Project On Government Oversight and others to bring their attention to serious fraud, crime, and national security breaches at Los Alamos Laboratory. As so often happens with large government entities, truth-tellers are fired.

Other than cursory denials, Los Alamos Laboratory has offered no credible reassurances that missing and stolen property did not contain sensitive or classified information.  

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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