Petition for 89-2 Rocky Flats Special Grand Jury 89-2 opposed by USDOJ
UPDATE – June 12, 2020
On June 12, 2020 Pat Mellen, attorney for Petitioners, filed Petitioners’ Response – Order to Show Cause. With the twenty-two (22) exhibits Ms. Mellen argues 1) USDOJ has established that the Government’s internal records are missing, not that the sealed records sought do not exist; and 2) an inventory of the federal court’s sealed files is necessary. “The abrupt termination of Special Federal Grand Jury 89-2’s service resulted in significant public controversy, from a near mutiny by the jurors to congressional and internal inquiries.” (Pat Mellen; 2020; p. 16).
On May 26, 2020 US District Court Judge Moore accepted the May 5, 2020 USDOJ report and Declaration of Victoria Soltis and provided Petitioners until June 12, 2020 to file its Show Cause.
Order to Show Cause
On May 5, 2020 USDOJ responded to the Court’s Order with a report and Declaration of Victoria Soltis. No news in the report, USDOJ informed the court that it does not possess the business records provided to Rocky Flats Special Federal Grand Jury 89-2.
USDOJ report of May 5, 2020
Declaration of Victoria Soltis
On March 6, 2020 US District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore, District of Colorado, filed his Amended Order: “Respondent [USDOJ] shall within sixty (60) days of the date of this Order, on or before May 5, 2020, file a report, including any necessary affidavits or exhibits, advising whether it is in possession of any of the documents which are the subject the Petition; …” (On July 24, 2019 the USDOJ attorney communicated in an email to Ms. Mellen that he has not located the 62-65 boxes at issue).
Please note that Judge Moore commented: “Petitioners surmise that between June 1989 and March 26, 1992, SFGJ89-2 collected over 760 boxes of documents and information – about three and one half million pages of documents – from various sources, including: (1) a raid on Rocky Flats; (2) a raid at the DOE offices in Albuquerque; and (3) at least nine subpoenas.” Judge Moore did not adopt USDOJ’s recollection of 64 boxes.
Judge Moore chose Petitioners’ reference to 760 boxes of Rocky Flats grand jury documents and information and not USDOJ’s accounting of 62-65 boxes. Pat Mellen and Petitioners relied on the US Government’s own count of 760 boxes in its March 26, 1992 Plaintiff’s Sentencing Memo submitted before the Court, District of Colorado case number 92-CR-107, . See page 3 at https://rockyflatsambushedgrandjury.com/wp-content/uploads/Exhibit-1-Plaintiff-Sentencing-Memo-1-of-2-1.pdf.
USDOJ’s justification is in reference to the 2004 letter from then-US Attorney John Suthers to then-Congressman Mark Udall. On April 19, 2004 John Suthers wrote to then-Congressman Udall that he had 65 boxes to share with CDPHE, USDOE and USEPA. The three (3) agencies (Rocky Flats cleanup) did not pursue the information offered by Mr. Suthers. Suthers also wrote: “Congressman Udall, I don’t want to become involved in a public debate about the merits of the accusations detailed in The Ambushed Grand Jury, but suffice it to say that there is another side to the story.”
A copy of the Amended Order is available in the following link:
On July 31, 2019 Petitioners by and through their attorney Pat Mellen filed a Motion for Writ of Mandamus, seeking a court order to order USDOJ properly fulfill their official duties, to confirm the location of the Rocky Flats Special Federal Grand Jury 89-2 records. On July 24, 2019 Assistant US Attorney Kyle Benton communicated via email to Ms. Mellen that he has not located the 62-65 boxes of records at issue.
On April 23, 2019 Petitioners filed their Response Opposing the Motion to Dismiss. In addition Petitioners included the March 26, 1992 USA v. Rockwell International Plea Agreement, 92-CR-107: Plaintiff’s Sentencing Memo 1 of 2; Plaintiff’s Sentencing Memo 2 of 2; Defendant’s Sentencing Memo; and Plaintiff’s Supplemental Sentencing Memo of May 26, 1992.
On April 2, 2019 Respondent, U.S. Department of Justice, filed its Motion to Dismiss.
On January 10, 2019 Ms. Pat Mellen, Esquire, of Pat Mellen Law LLC, filed a Petition on behalf of Alliance of Nuclear Workers Advocacy Groups (ANWAG); Rocky Flats Downwinders; Candelas Glows/Rocky Flats Glows; Environmental Information Network (EIN), Inc.; Rocky Flats Neighborhood Association; Rocky Flats Right to Know (RFR2K); and, Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center (RMPJC).
Leaders of the above Rocky Flats community groups filed a legal Petition in U.S. District Court at Denver calling on the government to unseal records from the 1989 -1992 Special Federal Grand Jury investigation into criminal actions at the former Denver-area nuclear weapons plant. The petitioners argue that the documents may provide evidence of unreported and unaddressed residual plutonium contamination and other ongoing environmental dangers at Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and the adjoining Superfund site. They say this information is critical to resolving policy controversies, such as construction of the Rocky Flats Refuge trails and visitor center, Jefferson Parkway, Rocky Mountain Greenway, and fracking permits.
The above Petitioners’ Response Opposing the Motion to Dismiss highlights include:
“[T]he documents reviewed by the Special Grand Jury 89-2 confirmed and substantiated the multiple felony environmental crimes to which Rockwell pled guilty.” (Id. at page 8);
“Respondent [US Department of Energy] also ignores its own pleadings and findings in the Special Grand Jury 89-2 investigation that Rockwell actively covered up its activities in its efforts to avoid criminal and civil liability.” (Ibid. at page 10);
“b. “Throughout this period, from 1987 to 1989, ROCKWELL exercised little control over spray irrigation. While a review of the company’s policy documents and written procedures would have led one to believe that a number of significant controls were in place, in fact they weren’t. For instance, a number of documents indicated that the B-3 Pond was sampled and analyzed before it was spray irrigated, but that in fact wasn’t the case. Rockwell documents also indicated that one of the company’s environmental mangers had to approve spray irrigation (in writing) on each occasion it was practiced. In fact, it was rarely done. There were also written requirements that the spray fields be closely monitored, but the inspections were minimal and not very thorough. Instead, the company’s standing order was to spray irrigate as much and as often as possible, sometimes for twelve or more hours a day and late at night.” (Ibid at page 12).