Friday, April 28, 2006

Audit: Former Los Alamos director Nanos got signing bonus

April 26, 2006

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) - An independent audit of the University of California's compensation practices found former Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Pete Nanos received $25,000 for taking over the lab in 2002.

The special payment was not approved by the regents of the university, which has run Los Alamos for the federal government for more than 60 years.

Nanos received additional compensation in the form of cash payments for an automobile allowance and extra life insurance.


Full Story

From the article:

"When Nanos left, the audit said, the university agreed to reimburse him for up to $200,000 on a loss from the sale of his home and provided a relocation payment of $26,462 "related to his removal."

I would sure like to know what dirt Nanos has on UC that put him in a position where he was able to make them buy him off. It must be something even juicier than the current stories of UC corruption that we are now seeing in the news each day.

I'd love to see the son of a bitch have a subpoena slapped on him to force him to divulge the details of his sweet payola deal. Or even better yet, have Foley, Dynes and Parsky each served with one too.
The reports coming out of Oakland in April, 2004 were not those of a happy family. Nanos wanted to stay on as lab director until the new contract was awarded. Foley wanted him out. It stands to reason that Nanos must have had some leverage over his UC employers which allowed him to dictate the terms and monitory rewards for a departure that would occur the very next month. It truly would be interesting to know if the leverage Nanos held over UC was of other questionable, or perhaps even illegal practices of the University of California. What else would explain the terms that he was able to command in return for his May, 2004 departure. I suppose the only really good news from that period was the realization that Nanos had slunk out of town one evening, humuliated, in the dark of night late that May.
It is possible that Nanos had something on UC, but frankly UC doesn't worry much about whistleblowers. It just hires a fancy law firm to fight the issue until doomsday.
On the other hand, UC does seem to dole out extra perks to lots of high level managers -- just cuz'. Look at all the extra money Dynes got. What does he have on UC? Probably nothing.
Sadly, it has become customary to give big bucks to managers, bad or good. It is sort of a return to the royalty system. Once one reaches a certain level of management -- extra dollops of money are a given -- regardless of performance.
Submitter cs350 seems to have the year wrong. Nanos left in May, 2005. If the report out of Oakland is indeed from April, 2004, then we have an even more interesting story.
Soccer is correct, I got the year wrong.

The 4/23 SF Chronicle article had this to say about the "agreement" that was struck between Nanos and UC:

"As part of the agreement, Nanos, an outspoken former Navy admiral who was appointed director in January 2003 and promptly vowed to "drain the swamp" at the lab -- agreed not to say anything disparaging about the university or the lab. Indeed, the agreement calls Nanos' silence "a fundamental and substantial part of this agreement."

This sure smells like something a bit more rotten than just the normal good old boys "extra dollops of money" thing, as long gone suggests.
The new contract for LANL has an explicit clause on compensation for key personnel in appendix B Section III (a) (2) ...

"The Contractor [LANS LLC] shall include in the Contractor’s employment contract with each of its Key Personnel the following:

(i) a requirement that the key person’s employment is for a term of not less than two years,

(ii) a condition that provides for incentives for longevity of service as a key person, and

(iii) a condition that provides for disincentives for early departure."

Unless a senior manager is convicted of breaking a law, has a formally documented history of insubordination or other malfeasance, its very hard for the employer to unilaterally terminate a multi-year employment contract - especially with provision like the above built into the contract.

Labor lawyers salivate at the thought of representing (for 1/3 of the award fee) a client who was a senior manager making $500,000, had an employment contract, and wants to fight their termination... do the math; 2 years in the courts, verdict for the manager - after showing the jury all their positive performance reviews and customer feedback - that they were "wrongfully" terminated in violation of their contract, jury award of back pay ($1 million for 2 years) plus damages (2x salary; $2 million), attorney fees ($1 million)... total for the employer (not including their legal bill) = $4 million... or just give the manager up front a $1 million to go away... which would you do?... So it looks like DOE/NNSA is requiring "golden parachutes" for senior managers at LANL.
The face of the most-hated director in LANL's 63 year history. *We* didn't even like him.
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This is even worse than one may think. There was no reason for him to lose money on the sale of his home. Looking at historical data shows that home prices have not significantly dropped, so there was no reason to lose money. One more reason to accuse Nanos of fraud
Geez, the photo of the ol' Director's snagglepuss really startled me.

Front and center at the top of the least there could have been a warning fanfare ahead of the photo for us cardiac patients!

I had the same thought EMP. If you were to add some bolts in the side of his neck he would look more like the monster he really is.

As for the housing reimbursement, I know several people who have retired recently and had to take offers substantially lower than appraised value due to the high level of trepidation that has existed here since the shutdown. I think everyone that has taken a loss on a home recently should ask UC for a reimbursement since it was Nanos and UC that caused it. Why should he skate away unscathed while honest people continue to get screwed?
Still looks like the south end of a north-facing horse!

Nanos no doubt has a photograph of Dynes performing an imoral act with a barnyard animal.

Keeping Admiral Butthead on the payroll is an abomination. Why are people at his level indemnified against the consequences of their transgressions?
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