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.As Congress begins its second round of hearings Wednesday into the ongoing scandals at Los Alamos – the world’s most important nuclear research facility – Dickson’s testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee will play a central role.”He’s going to be under intensive questioning. Some very serious concerns have been raised about the way he’s handled the investigations going on there (at Los Alamos),” said Energy Committee spokesman Ken Johnson.