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Friday, May 06, 2005

Nanos Out; Kuckuck in

As the LANL bloggers predicted, Pete Nanos is leaving the lab and Robert Kuckuck is in (I still disagree with The Times that the bloggers are why Nanos is leaving, but, certainly, they have the inside scoop on all this). The New Mex broke the story this morning after receiving, anonymously, a leaked press release on the changeover. You can read the letter announcing Nanos' departure at on the LANL employees' blog
So what do we know about Robert Kuckuck? Well, he's the guy who retired from Livermore and when he was named as an advisor to help UC fix all of its myriad money problems, a former Livermore employee felt it was time for her to come forward. She claimed (back in Jan., 2003) that Kuckuck did nothing to help her when she reported a myriad of comparable problems. You can read all about it in both The East Bay Express Story Snitch and in San Francisco Chronicle story
If you're not in the mood to hyperlink, here's the abbreviated version from the January, 2003 edition of Federal Daily:

The University of California is facing heightened government scrutiny of its management of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, even as it tries to deal with problems at its Los Alamos, N.M., lab. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., has asked the Energy Department’s inspector general to investigate allegations of mismanagement and retaliation against a whistleblower at the Livermore lab in California. “These allegations, if true, would indicate that the recent disclosures at Los Alamos National Laboratory may represent just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. In the allegations that prompted Markey’s request, a government contractor said nearly $6 million in federal funds were improperly diverted and a former lab employee said she was retaliated against after she reported misappropriation of funds, falsification of records and other problems. The ex-employee, Michelle Doggett, said she sought but failed to receive the help of Robert Kuckuck, then associate director at Livermore. This month Kuckuck was named an adviser to the UC team looking into Los Alamos management issues. The Energy Department has told the university official in charge of the lab’s management to expect that an investigation of problems at Los Alamos will be broadened to include Livermore. The Energy Department, the FBI and three congressional committees already are looking into alleged fraud and mismanagement at Los Alamos. Those allegations include $4.9 million in unaccounted-for credit card purchases.