Politics

Police Officer Who Cooked Meth In Government Lab Also Had Sex While On Duty, Engaged In Attendance Fraud

A federal officer who, earlier this month, pleaded guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine in a government laboratory also allegedly had sex with a fellow employee while on duty and took credit for overtime hours he didn’t actually work.

Christopher Bartley, a senior officer with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Police Services, caused a massive explosion in a building on the NIST campus while trying to cook meth July 19, and now the agency is stonewalling congressional efforts to investigate.

On Wednesday, Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, which oversees the NIST, sent a letter to NIST Director Willie May demanding more information about the incident.

According to Smith’s letter, the NIST declined to provide his committee with building access records that would show where and when Bartley moved around the NIST campus while he was cooking meth.

“This Committee has a legitimate interest in the safety of NIST employees and ensuring that agency property is not used to produce illegal drugs,” Smith wrote. “The building access records are essential to the Committee’s oversight.”

In the letter, Smith asked the NIST provide the committee with the building records for the night of the explosion, all documents regarding Bartley and the decision to promote him, any communications regarding NIST’s internal investigation of the meth lab explosion and a plethora of other documents.

Jennifer Huergo, a spokeswoman for NIST said in an email that the agency received the letter and intends to provide all the information requested.

About a week after the explosion, NIST officials briefed the committee on what happened leading up to and after the explosion, but failed to include the building access records from the night of the explosion.

More recently, though, Smith wrote in the letter, the committee obtained documents that show “a culture of waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct at NIST Police Services.”

According to the documents, Bartley allegedly had sex with multiple other NIST employees “on agency property, in vehicles owned by the government, while on official duty.”

Despite agency officials’ knowledge of his alleged sexual misdeeds, Bartley was promoted to interim chief of police for a short time prior to the meth lab incident.

Smith also alleges that Bartley and others at the NIST Police Services regularly committed time and attendance fraud and it appears that police equipment worth thousands of dollars is unaccounted for or missing from the police force.

According to documents obtained by the committee, during April 2014, Bartley appeared to have worked 84 hours of overtime on top of his full-time shifts.

If the documents are accurate, that would mean Bartley worked 164 hours in two weeks.

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