March 7, 2014
SANTA FE — Los Alamos National Laboratory Deputy Director Beth Sellers, the second-highest ranking administrator at the lab, has resigned over failure to properly report a potential conflict of interest when a relative of hers, apparently her husband, received a lab consulting contract in 2012.
The resignation of Sellers, whose compensation for the 2012-13 fiscal year was $335,834, follows an investigation by the Department of Energy’s Inspector General that substantiated allegations of conflict of interest involving a senior female manager at the lab and a consultant married to that manager.
A lab spokesman said he was not authorized to say whether Sellers was the focus of the investigation, but the facts outlined in the IG’s report dovetail with a statement she released on Friday.
On Friday, the lab issued statements from both Sellers and LANL Director Charlie McMillan.
“You may soon read news coverage about an issue involving the Laboratory,” Sellers stated in a message to lab employees. “A family member of mine was awarded a consulting agreement with the Lab in the fall of 2012. At the time, this was not properly disclosed for full evaluation of potential conflict of interest. I realized this mistake several months later and immediately requested a review from Lab Counsel and Audits and Ethics.”
She went on to say she realized the matter would be a distraction for the lab.
“This is unacceptable to me as a Laboratory leader, so I have decided to voluntarily step down,” she said.
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