Morning Briefing - April 15, 2024
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April 15, 2024

Plaintiff claims false, defamatory DOE statements caused divorce

By ExchangeMonitor

A New Mexico resident is suing the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories for slander, defamation, violation of the Freedom of Information Act and — causing the breakup of his 28-year marriage.

William Gardner, who is representing himself, filed the action against DOE and Sandia last month. Gardner claims DOE falsely accused him of criminal activity in documents the agency shared with the plaintiff’s then-wife, a Sandia employee in Albuquerque, N.M., while she was was seeking a promotion that required DOE clearance.

Katherine Gardener’s DOE security clearance was first turned down in December 2022, according to William Gardner’s March 19 complaint. The rejection was based on “several defamatory and untrue factors regarding false accusations of Mortgage Fraud,” according to the plaintiff.

About a year later a second security letter sent to the wife from DOE “contained many defamatory and libel statements against the plaintiff (William) Gardner,” according to the complaint. The plaintiff said he has viewed the DOE papers but was not allowed to possess the documents.

According to the complaint: DOE asked Katherine Gardner questions including: “How long have you been aware of your husband’s criminal activity … are you part of your [husband’s] criminal activity?” William Gardner said his wife felt like she had to choose between her job and her marriage. Kathrine Gardner filed for divorce in December. 2023.

The plaintiff said Bank of America has no record of any mortgage fraud allegations against him. William Gardner said in the complaint he has been subject to humiliation and mental anguish. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Damian  Martinez was assigned to the case April 2.

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