[ISN] Five fired in Los Alamos lab scandal

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Thu Sep 16 06:13:11 EDT 2004


[Here's an article to pin to the bulletin board if you think your 
organization's security policy is lax about security infractions, 
you could remind your users they would be fired if they pulled the 
same kind of antics around a national lab.   - WK]

Associated Press Writer 
September 15, 2004

Five workers have been fired for their roles in a security and safety 
scandal at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the lab's director said 

The fired workers were among 23 suspended this summer after two 
computer disks containing classified information went missing. The 
discovery July 7 prompted a virtual shutdown of the nuclear lab, 
idling roughly 12,000 workers. 

The other 18 workers will retain their jobs but will be reprimanded or 
demoted from management, Director Pete Nanos told The Associated 

"It's very important to get this behind us," Nanos said in an 
interview via cell phone from an airplane after meetings in 
Washington, D.C. 

Nanos would not discuss the specific cases of fired employees but said 
that some were dismissed for "not taking actions that you were 
supposed to take, or signing off on things that you hadn't done." He 
said one had not taken the appropriate precautions in a safety area. 

"We really did fit the punishment to the acts that were done," Nanos 

Three of the workers were fired in connection with the missing 
computer disks; the other two were involved in an accident in which a 
laser injured an intern, he said. 

Nanos also said the northern New Mexico lab has finished its 
investigation into the two missing disks, also known as "classified 
removable electronic media," or CREM. Information from the probe has 
been turned over to federal authorities. Nanos refused to release 
additional details. He said other agencies are still investigating. 

Nanos, who held a series of all-hands meetings with lab workers after 
the scandal broke, added that the "commitment of employees right now 
is extremely high." 

Lab spokesman James Fallin emphasized "that today's announcements 
provide very clear evidence that it's not business as usual at this 
laboratory. ... Accountability is the order of the day." 

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