LIVERMORE, Calif. — The head of a controversial undercover drug probe at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been stripped of his post, it was reported Thursday.
Robert Godwin was in charge of lab security during "Operation Snowstorm," an undercover internal investigation that came under heavy criticism from a congressional committee earlier this year.
He lost his title as associate director in charge of plant and technical services and will now serve under Dennis Fisher, who was named to a post that includes Godwin's former security duties.
Lab director John Nuckolls praised Godwin for making "many important contributions" to the nuclear weapons lab, but neither he nor the lab's public information office would say whether there was a connection between the reassignment and the "Snowstorm" controversy.
But the Oakland Tribune quoted an unnamed source within the laboratory as saying that Godwin "has been downgraded. He is no longer associate director. He's not the boss. His responsibilities have been taken away from him."
Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) this summer accused the Department of Energy, which oversees the lab, and lab officials of prematurely ending their 1986 probe into drug use at the facility.
The lab said it ended the investigation when leads started to dry up and said it had timed the project to rid the lab of drug users and dealers as quickly as possible.
Godwin loudly criticized Dingell's probe of "Snowstorm," accusing the congressman of using the lab as a "whipping boy" for his long-standing criticism of the Department of Energy.
With Godwin demoted, the three top lab officials who were involved in "Snowstorm" have either resigned, retired or been demoted.
Director Roger Batzel has retired, and former lab associate director James S. Kahn resigned last year to become director of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.