Mr. Gregory Friedman, Inspector General
Department of Energy
Office of the Inspector General
1000 Independence Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC 20585
Dear Mr. Friedman:
You have initiated an inquiry into whether a conflict or bias exists within the Department's Yucca Mountain program when the Department's law firm, Winston & Strawn, concurrently represents the Nuclear Energy Institute, in a lobbying capacity, before the Congress on issues concerning the Yucca Mountain program. I'm enclosing portions a transcript from a hearing that took place on July 5, 2001, before Magistrate Judge Kay in the matter of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, L.L.P. versus the Department of Energy and Winston & Strawn.
In this hearing, attorneys representing Winston & Strawn made the statement, under questioning by Judge Kay, that Winston has represented the Department of Energy in the Yucca Mountain program, since 1992. The significance of this statement is that in previous statements to the court, Winston stated that they were exclusively representing TRW, the Department's prime contractor on the Yucca Mountain. Not only are these conflicting statements cause for concern regarding Winston's ethics, but demonstrate that the Department's legal relationship with Winston go back to 1992, prior to the Nuclear Energy Institute's engagement, which appears to been initiated in 1996.
I hope that you find this information useful to your inquiry. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Robert R. Loux