LOS ALAMOS' LAST MAN STANDING

LOS ALAMOS' LAST MAN STANDING Give Frank Dickson, general counsel of the beleaguered Los Alamos National Laboratory, some credit: He's a survivor.Allegations of discrimination and espionage in the 1990s swallowed up a generation of lab-management staff; Dickson remained. Accusations of corruption and mismanagement have forced his bosses to resign and his subordinates to relinquish their responsibilities; Dickson hung on.Now, the nuclear weapons lab's new director has proclaimed that he's ready to "drain the swamp" and give it a fresh start. But Dickson, singled out by Los Alamos whistleblowers for repeatedly interfering with FBI investigations into lab shenanigans, clings to power -- for now.My latest Wired News story has the skinny on Dickson's machinations. Additional articles on the ongoing scandals at the nuclear lab are here.THERE'S MORE: Los Alamos employee Lillian Anaya tried to buy a souped-up Ford Mustang with a lab credit card. When she was caught, Glenn Walp -- one of the former police chiefs brought in to the lab to root out corruption, then fired when he found out too much -- confiscated 20 boxes of evidence; the FBI wanted to take a look.According to Walp, Dickson immediately tried to get into the boxes -- and let Anaya's boss and close friend have access, too.Now, anybody that's watched a cop show or remembers the O.J. Simpson trial knows that's not kosher.Evidence is only useful if its integrity is preserved; if it's tainted, the evidence can be called into question. That's why you don't pick up a murder weapon with a bare hand. Or let someone's boss rifle through papers that might provide clues in a case of fraud.But such behavior was commonplace for Dickson, Walp and others say.AND MORE: Dickson, in his Congressional testimony, says he now regrets the decision to fire Walp. He believes he should have made more of an effort to work with him and fellow investigator Steven Doran.

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