WASHINGTON — Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Thomas M. Roberts announced today that he is taking a leave of absence to prepare for a Senate panel's questions regarding a Justice Department investigation into his alleged misconduct.
Roberts' announcement came one day after he refused to answer questions on the matter posed by members of the Senate environment subcommittee on nuclear regulation.
"I wish to testify and look forward to testifying under the appropriate circumstances," Roberts told the subcommittee today.
"As I understand it, the subcommittee is prepared to recognize our need for additional time under the condition that I refrain from participating in commission decisions or actions," he said.
Document Leak Probed
Subcommittee Chairman John B. Breaux (D-La.) said the terms were acceptable. "I was concerned and others were concerned about your participation on the commission during this period," he added.
Roberts has been under fire since the disclosure, before another Senate panel last month, that a sensitive NRC document apparently was leaked from his office to owners of a problem nuclear plant in Louisiana. Roberts first said he destroyed the document in question but later produced it.