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Ex-Cop Tried to Enter Nuclear Plant

Former Fountain Valley Councilman Chuck Conlosh was detained by San Onofre security and escorted out.

March 08, 2001|HECTOR BECERRA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A former Fountain Valley council member and ex-Huntington Beach police officer tried to get into the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant last month by telling employees he was on assignment for the FBI, power plant officials said.

Chuck Conlosh allegedly told plant security officers he was investigating personnel complaints at the behest of the FBI when he tried to get access to the Southern California Edison Co.-owned plant after midnight Feb. 14.

After being let in through a gate, Conlosh, 36, slowly drove through the parking lot, said Ray Golden, a plant spokesman. Conlosh passed through the nuclear plant's "security train"--an elaborate series of weapon and explosives detectors--but was stopped when he couldn't produce an employee badge, Golden said.

Conlosh was detained for several minutes and then escorted back to his vehicle, Golden said.

"He was polite. . . . He said he was working on an FBI project. . . . He was very understanding about having to leave," the spokesman said.

After the incident, San Onofre security called the FBI in San Diego to report the incident but did not inform local police. Officials later informed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

"He didn't violate any of our security, but he made statements that didn't line up" regarding his involvement with the FBI, Golden said.

An FBI spokesman confirmed the office knows of the incident but declined to say whether an investigation is ongoing.

Since Dec. 19, Conlosh has resigned from the Huntington Beach Police Department--under pressure from top officials, he said--and lost his seat on the Fountain Valley City Council after not showing up for several meetings.

Conlosh attorney Brad Gage said he was not aware of the incident at San Onofre but said his client is trying to move on with his life.

Conlosh "is interested in reclaiming his council seat," Gage said. "He's still interested in both politics and being a police officer."

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