July 21st, 2007 06:00 EST
Statement as Prepared By Gerald Boyd, Manager, Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office
My name is Gerald Boyd, Manager of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge site office. I am the federal official with oversight of activities being preformed both by federal employees and contractors at the various facilities on the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation.
I am limited in what I can say because this is an ongoing law enforcement matter, but as you know, today the U.S. Attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee, handed down an indictment of a former Bechtel Jacobs contractor employee who had been employed Oak Ridge's East Tennessee Technology Park. The East Tennessee Technology Park is an area of the Oak Ridge reservation where we are currently decontaminating and decommissioning buildings that were last used in 1985. When they were in use, now over 20 years ago, some of the buildings at ETTP housed facilities used for the enrichment of uranium. The individual in question was not an employee of the Oak Ridge National Lab, as has been erroneously reported.
As the indictment states, the individual in question is accused of converting restricted government materials to his own use and attempting to illegally transfer the restricted materials to another person. These are very serious charges, but as the Department of Justice has stated, at no time was the material in question ever actually transferred to a foreign government or terrorist organization and at no time was there any risk to the health or safety of the public.
We at the Department of Energy take the responsibility of overseeing sensitive work, information and material very seriously. The security of that information and the safety of our employees and the community in which we live and work is our top priority.
The East Tennessee Technology Park, and the entire Oak Ridge reservation, are protected by multiple layers of security systems and detection programs - both visible and unseen, meant to identify rogue employees attempting to abuse their access and position. In this case, our layered approach successfully identified the individual in question, and because of the close coordination between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Energy's Office of Counterintelligence, the FBI successfully interrupted the accused individual's apparent intentions.
After the situation in question came to our attention, I conducted a review of high risk security procedures. This review included officials from Bechtel Jacobs, the contractor who performs environmental cleanup work at the East Tennessee Technology Park, as well as officials from DOE's office of Counterintelligence and the FBI. And while that review concluded that the layered systems in place had worked, we are always monitoring the effectiveness of our programs and looking for ways to improve our systems.
Unfortunately, there are some who make unfortunate choices and abuse the trust given to them, and this case demonstrates the importance of federal coordination and the need for ongoing vigilance.
Make no mistake though, the men and women who work on the Oak Ridge Reservation, whether it be the East Tennessee Technology Park, the Oak Ridge National Lab, Y-12, or the various other facilities on the site are hardworking individuals dedicated to their community and their nation. The actions of one accused individual should never take away from that fact.
I can assure you that we here at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge site office will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement authorities to assist in the ongoing investigation and proceedings in any way that we can.
In closing, I would like to reiterate that a security system designed to detect the very type of illegal activity disclosed today worked.
Thank you for your time.
Oak Ridge DOJ press release (pdf)
John Shewairy, (865) 576-0885
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