LANL files seen as key in Stanford's defense

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By Tris DeRoma

Aaron Boland, the attorney for former Los Alamos National Laboratory division leader Anthony Stanford, appeared in Los Alamos Magistrate Court Thursday on behalf of his client.

In January, Stanford was arrested by Los Alamos Police for two counts of alleged assault and battery against a former female co-worker.

According to the police report, Stanford, who had headed the lab’s emergency operations center, and the female employee worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory together.

Police said one of the charges resulted from an encounter Stanford had with the employee in an elevator, where he allegedly tried to force himself on her. He allegedly made another similar attempt on Dec. 17 in his office after he gave her a Christmas gift.

Boland was in court to give an update on the progress he was making in securing files that he said would help prove his client’s innocence.

According to Boland, LANL persuaded Stanford to take early retirement after it conducted its own investigation into the incident. Stanford had worked at LANL for more than 20 years.

“There was an entire investigation into these incidents that gave rise to the charges,” Boland said in court. “I have not yet had access to that file.”

Magistrate Court Judge Pat Casados seemed concerned by the revelation, asking if they are going to be ready in time for the trial date in August.

Boland seemed confident that he would get the files, even if he had to do it by subpoena.

Casados suggested to Boland that he should have the files by July 1 or at least file a subpoena on that date to ensure they get the files they need in time for the trial.

When asked how important the file is to his client’s case, Boland said though he hasn’t seen it yet, he believes it’s probably pretty relevant, and will help prove his client’s innocence.

“We’ve entered a not guilty plea, we believe this should have stayed in a civil context,” Boland said. “We don’t believe any crime has been committed, and we believe in asserting all of his rights at trial.”

The trial date has been set for Aug. 19, according to the NM Courts website.