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Los Alamos Lab Whistleblower Beaten

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5056912,00.html Los Alamos Lab Whistleblower Beaten Tuesday June 7, 2005 2:16 AM By DEBORAH BAKER
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2005
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      http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5056912,00.html

      Los Alamos Lab Whistleblower Beaten

      Tuesday June 7, 2005 2:16 AM

      By DEBORAH BAKER

      Associated Press Writer

      SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A Los Alamos lab whistleblower
      scheduled to testify before Congress about alleged
      financial irregularities was badly beaten outside a
      bar - an attack his wife and lawyer believe was
      designed to silence him.

      Police said that they were investigating the
      circumstances of the incident which, according to his
      wife, left Tommy Hook hospitalized Monday with a
      broken jaw and other injuries.

      Police Deputy Chief Eric Johnson said officers found
      Hooks after responding to a reported assault at the
      Cheeks Night Club about 2 a.m. Sunday. He provided few
      other details.

      ``We are working jointly with the FBI, trying to
      determine what may have happened and what the assault
      may have stemmed from,'' Johnson said.

      Hook's wife, Susan, alleged the assailants told her
      husband during the attack: ``If you know what's good
      for you, you'll keep your mouth shut.''

      Tommy Hook and another whistleblower sued the
      University of California in March, alleging that after
      they uncovered management failures, university and lab
      managers tried to make their jobs miserable so they
      would quit.

      Hook, a former internal auditor who now works at
      another job at the lab, had been scheduled to testify
      before the House Energy and Commerce Committee later
      this month.

      According to Susan Hook, her husband received a call
      late Saturday from someone wanting to meet with him at
      a bar. She said her husband told her the man never
      showed up, but that as he was leaving the parking lot,
      a group of men pulled him from his car and beat him.

      ``They left him in the parking lot for dead,'' said
      Tommy Hook's lawyer, Robert Rothstein.

      Rothstein said the assailants didn't take Hook's
      wallet, other personal belongings or car. Without any
      other motive, it appears the beating was related to
      his whistleblowing, Rothstein contended.

      Susan Hook said her husband did not frequent bars.

      Los Alamos lab spokesman Kevin Roark called the
      beating a ``senseless and brutal act and should not be
      tolerated.''

      The lab and UC also issued a joint statement decrying
      the violence. ``Director (Robert) Kuckuck, the
      University of California and the laboratory believe
      that any form of physical violence toward an
      individual is unacceptable,'' the statement read.
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