The Honorable Hubert Bell
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Mail Stop O5-E13
11555 Rockville Pike
Rockville, Maryland 20852
Dear Mr. Bell:
The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) enthusiastically endorses Mr. George Mulley for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Edward McGaffigan Jr. Public Service Award. As an independent non-profit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more accountable federal government, POGO worked extensively with both Commissioner McGaffigan and Mr. Mulley for many years and we can not think of a better tribute to both men.
Mr. Mulley demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to public service and exemplified the integrity, professional dedication, and moral courage that Commissioner McGaffigan exhibited. Even though POGO certainly did not see eye to eye with Commissioner McGaffigan on every issue, we always respected his clear commitment to doing what he believed was right. We believe he would be proud to have his award go to Mr. Mulley.
Our Senior Investigator Mr. Peter Stockton has worked with Mr. Mulley since the 1980s, when Mr. Stockton was with the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In fact, the Committee played a major role in creating the Office of Inspector General at the NRC. Mr. Stockton witnessed Mr. Mulley pursue issues seriously and with courage. It was a good thing Mr. Mulley had a sense of humor, because Mr. Stockton and his coworkers used to verbally beat him up if he did not share their view on an issue, or if he wasn’t as aggressive as they would like. In fact, former House Staffer Henry Myers regularly called Mr. Mulley expletives, yet Mr. Mulley took this all in stride, keeping his head high and pursuing his work professionally and with integrity. During those years, Mr. Mulley did great work on a number of the issues of concern to the Congress, including Thermo-Lag, Watts Barr, Comanche Peak , and TVA.
POGO’s interaction with Mr. Mulley started in the mid-1990s when we were working on exposing long-standing safety issues at nuclear power plants. Our General Counsel, Scott Amey, an investigator at the time, attended nuclear whistleblower conferences and witnessed first hand the trust and respect that those insiders had for Mr. Mulley. In fact, he was the only NRC employee that was invited to the conferences and the only person those whistleblowers trusted to hear their complaints and act on them. Trusting government officials was not easy for those insiders, because many of them had been the targets of retaliation at the hands of the utility companies and feared the NRC.
Since those conferences, POGO worked with Mr. Mulley on numerous security issues. Again, like the whistleblowers before us, Mr. Mulley was one of the only NRC officials that POGO trusted with our sources and the information that we had gathered. Our relationship with Mr. Mulley grew stronger through the years and we continually turned to him because of his strong ethic, character, and desire to prevent wrongdoing. Over the years, Mr. Mulley has immeasurably strengthened the NRC OIG, and therefore the entire NRC. Most recently, a great example is the excellent investigation into the sleeping guards at Peach Bottom and the NRC’s handling of the matter, which is resulting both in increased security across the complex, as well as improved NRC handling of whistleblower allegations.
Without hesitation, we recommend Mr. Mulley for the Edward McGaffigan Jr. Public Service Award. We cannot think of another applicant who will better honor the life and career of the NRC’s longest-serving Commissioner.