I am a native of Colorado, born in 1960. I joined the Rocky Flats Engineering Department in 1982 as a drafter. There I worked on process, mechanical, electrical and architectural drawings for Building 371. I joined the Rocky Flats Security Force in 1984. With the Protective Force I have participated in most exercises and many of the emergency response events. In 1985 I was promoted to the position of Alarm Station Operator. I was again promoted to Investigator in 1989. In 1989 I was again promoted to the position of Lieutenant in charge of the Alarm Station. I was the Chairman of the DOE HQ Alarm Station Working Group from 1990 through 1993. I was a member of the DOE Physical Security Systems Working Group and attended a meeting in HQ in 1994. I was the Chairman of the Rocky Flats Physical Security Systems Working Group from 1990 through 1995.
I have been an Authorized Derivative Classifier since 1992 and Operations Security Certificate since 1993. I hold certifications in the Association of Public Safety Communications Officers (APCO) as a public safety Communications Officer and the National Fire Protection Academy (NFPA) in incident command. I have participated in vulnerability analysis from table top to state of the art Joint Tactical System (JTS) computerized simulations from 1988 through present day.
In early October of 1995 I was ordered to open a security area. The opening involved the, cessation of access control operations, the removal of the security fence and the closer of the guard post. I did so. Later, Jeff Peters and Terry Cuba found a semi trailer containing six pallets of Secret Restricted Data in the area that had been opened. The trailer was locked with a cheap padlock, but unalarmed, and unsealed. No one knew how long the trailer had been there but it was estimated it was there for at least six months. The SRD documents were travelers, documents and drawings that accompanied each and every individual nuclear "pit" with that unit’s individual measurements and quality records.
Later in October it was determined that approximately four hundred and ninety kilograms of Plutonium oxide had to be moved out of the vault being turned over to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The vault was going to be modified to meet IAEA standards. While other options existed including moving the material to former Special Nuclear Material vaults, the decision was made to move the material to a room that did not meet DOE Plutonium Storage specifications. A contractor document from 1984 showed that the room could not be used to store SNM at low risk UNLESS significant hardening and upgrades were done. The room had soft gypsum walls, multiple large openings and a single padlock on a soft door. To augment the protection a temporary radio alarm system was installed, an alarm that reported over a voice radio and could be turned off by radio control from almost anywhere in the Denver Metropolitan Area. I know, I programmed it - under protest. We had numerous problems with the alarm and the security plan. There had been no vulnerability analysis. We finally ran a Vulnerability Analysis the night before we were supposed to move the material to the temporary storage location. The numbers showed that we needed six armed SPOs to prevent theft or rad sab scenarios (Two on the main floor, two in the basement below and two above the room in the mezzanine). The large number was required because there were unsecured air ducts approximately six foot square in both the ceiling and floor of the room. After we moved the material, K-H ordered the compensatory SPOs dropped to two, and then to none. While we followed the orders, we disagreed and asked to be told how this magical protection strategy worked. We were not told, but instructed to follow orders.
By now it was becoming evident that K-H was going to run this site whatever way they wanted. This coincides with the statement made by David Ridenour, the former DOE Director of Security who quit in frustration when he was told his job was to facilitate the contractor making award fee and his contractor oversight capabilities had been removed.
Once the IAEA vault was modified to an acceptable level for the IAEA, the SNM was moved back into the IAEA vault. Jeff Peters was put on administrative leave. He asked me to help him write an unclassified letter to Congressman Skaggs since I was an Authorized Derivative Classifier and we shared many of the same concerns. He confirmed that DOE Rocky Flats was doing nothing, and I had experienced the wrath of K-H first hand so I knew our chances at resolving these issues at Rocky Flats were less than low.
Dec 8, 1995 Jeff Peters and I wrote a letter to Congressman David Skaggs of Colorado asking for assistance in validating and resolving security problems at Rocky Flats. Congressman Skaggs gave the letter to DOE - Rocky Flats. Immediately Rocky Flats claimed the letter was classified. They confiscated the letter from the congressman's staff and sent a computer security person to my home to erase my files and confiscate my printer ribbon.
DOE- HQ sent a team to investigate our claims. Their investigation took one week and reported that the SNM was at LOW risk. The report also states that a security plan had been completed and approved before the move was initiated. The protective force and the K-H security department did not have access to an approved security plan until approximately three weeks after the material was moved to the temporary storage room. The report states that bounding analysis was used to document LOW risk to the SNM. We were told that the bounding analysis equated the room where the SNM was temporarily stored to OTHER GROUND FLOOR VAULTS". Approved vaults have concrete walls or 100% volumetric motion sensor coverage that report on an approved (tested and reliable) alarm system. The temporary storage room had a radio-controlled alarm with significant false alarm problems. Other vaults have tie downs to hold the material in place. This is done for seismic as well as security reasons. The tie downs slow down an adversary from picking up the material and keep the material from falling into possibly critical masses on the floor. The temporary storage room did not have tie downs. The taxpayers later paid a lot of money to harden and upgrade the room into vault status. The logical question is how can the risk assessments be correct? In a 1994 document the risk is HIGH. In the DOE 1996 report prompted by David Skaggs the risk was LOW. Then the room was upgraded to meet SNM storage requirements. If the risk was indeed low during the temporary storage, why were significant monies spent to upgrade the room to vault status, especially since the site closure is scheduled for 2006?
In less than one month Rod Hoffman showed me a letter from Brian Siebert of DOE office of Classification confirming that the letter contained NO CLASSIFIED information. By then the damage was done and the congressman's staff was afraid to talk to us. I had been put on a night shift and worked almost twice the shifts assigned to other officers for one month.
In March of 1996 an investigator from the DOE office of employee concerns and an investigator from the Office of Personnel Management conducted a six-week investigation. They interviewed numerous people involved in the temporary storage incident. Many of the testimonies support our claims, including the testimony of the Protective Force General Manager and the senior security planner responsible for risk assessments. Both confirmed the security runs showed the material was at high risk. This planner is also on tape confirming that he told the first DOE investigation team from Headquarters that the material was at high risk. This contradicts the investigation report, and in my opinion proves the DOE report conclusion lied to Congressman Skaggs.
After Jeff’s employment was terminated in 1996, I was on my own. I was assigned a day shift rotation, still in charge of alarm station operations but not given the time to do that job as well as my shift supervisor responsibilities.
In April of 1997 Jeff and I were contacted by a writer from the Denver Post. I gave opinions on the status of security at Rocky Flats. The article reported general lapses in security at Rocky Flats.
In June of 1997, an article in the Denver Post documented that a DOE-RFFO manager ORDERED Wackenhut to contract an unapproved non DOE person to sweep certain DOE and contractor offices for bugs. This is critical for three reasons.
First, it shows that DOE-RFFO is willing to break the rules, and consciously decides not to follow the rules. Any person trained to detect bugs can plant bugs. Having an uncleared person do this in areas where classified discussions are normally held is irresponsible, and possibly puts classified information in the hands of uncleared intelligence gathering persons.
Second, it shows that the contractors will do whatever DOE wants them to do as long as it doesn't negatively impact their award fees.
Third, it shows that the political aspects of security as applied by DOE outweigh not only policy, but LAW. The LAW prohibits classified information from being disseminated to uncleared, unapproved persons.
In August of 1997 Jeff Peters, David Ridenour and I were contacted by CBS News. Correspondent Rita Braver conducted the interview in September. The piece which was originally scheduled to run in October, but was not run until November.
In October of 1997, Jeff Peters, David Ridenour and I filed a False Claims Act against the security contractors at Rocky Flats for falsely claiming security services and protection levels from 1992 to present. Our belief being that if we were successful, contractors would ensure they followed the DOE orders to which they are contractually obligated.
The complaint was filed under seal to allow the Department of Justice to complete an investigation. The DOJ contacted the DOE, the people accused of not overseeing the contractors properly, and due to the revolving door employment policies, some of the people responsible for the false claims. The DOE would not support the case and moved that the case be dismissed. Amazingly enough, some of the people that committed the fraud said that no fraud was committed. The case had remained sealed for almost two years. A hearing was held in Federal Court in 2001. The magistrate ruled for the government’s motion to dismiss on grounds of protection of classified matter and not wanting to delay the closure of Rocky Flats. The judge supported the magistrate’s decision. We have appealed the decision.
In January of 1998 I was put on administrative leave and a fitness for duty evaluation made of my mental status. The reason I was given was my preoccupation with security at Rocky Flats. A trait I though was desirable in a security professional at Rocky Flats. Three reviews were conducted. All three reviews concluded that I was fit for duty. Dr. James Thistle, one of the doctors stated that not only was I fit for duty, but that I had a perfect profile for nuclear security.
When I was put on administrative leave I filed a complaint with the Department of Labor. The department of Labor found for me and ordered Wackenhut to reinstate me and pay me damages. Wackenhut appealed the decision of the Labor department.
I went back to work in August of 1998 under agreement between my Attorneys at the Government Accountability Project and attorneys for Wackenhut.
An administrative hearing was held in April of 1999. The judge ruled in my favor and ordered Wackenhut to reinstate me and pay damages.
In 2000, congress found that DOE had reimbursed Wackenhut for their legal fees that resulted from their retaliation of me, a whistleblower. Not a title I predicate my existence on, I prefer to look at it as an open mind looking for the most efficient and effective security we can provide. I have worked hard and diligently to correct security problems at Rocky Flats. Some significant issues have been corrected. Since we first blew the whistle at Rocky Flats the following programs have either been reinstated or implemented:
Belt fed automatic weapons for aerial and hardened targets.
Night Vision Devices for tactical operations at night or inside unlit buildings.
Special Response Team (SRT) staffing has been increased.
The Fresh pursuit program was finally approved.
MOUs and exercises with Local Law Enforcement Agencies have been implemented.
Chemical / Biological respirators that can be used while shooting have been issued.
Some procedures have been enhanced.
While far from perfect, some things have gotten better. Some things have gotten worse. Current vulnerabilities at DOE facilities are treated as Classified Information. If discussions about current vulnerabilities are desired, approvals and clearances must be proven.
Lt. Mark Graf began working at Rocky Flats in 1982 and was promoted to increasingly responsible positions until he assumed his current position of Program Manager for Alarm Station Operations for the Wackenhut protective force. In 1995, after trying to prevent DOE management and contractors from committing numerous security breaches at Rocky Flats, Lt. Graf wrote to Congressman David Skaggs (D-CO) about his concerns. Lt. Graf’s letter was immediately classified even though subsequent reviews have shown that it contained no classified information. In retaliation for his whistleblowing, Lt. Graf was eventually fired. A Department of Labor investigation subsequently vindicated Lt. Graf and Wackenhut was forced to reinstate him to his original position and pay compensatory damages.