Los Alamos National Laboratory equipment buyer Lillian Anaya thought she was ordering $30,000 worth of transducers. But she dialed a number that had been changed from an industrial equipment dealer to an auto parts shop, and wound up buying a Mustang with government money instead.
That's the assertion of Los Alamos and University of California investigators, who today cleared Anaya of any wrongdoing in a case that helped engulf the world's most important nuclear research center in a fog of scandal.
According to John Lundberg -- the deputy general counsel for the University of California, which manages Los Alamos for the Energy Department -- Anaya received a request from the Lab's Engineering Sciences and Applications division for 20 transducers last April. So she phoned in an order to what she thought was the Fluid Conditioning Company in Phoenix. The company had moved, however. And its number now rang in the back office of All Mustang Performance, a Ford parts and accessories shop.