ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Authorities said Thursday that the beating of a Los Alamos nuclear lab (search) auditor outside a bar was unrelated to his status as a whistleblower.
The police statement did not say that Tommy Hook (search), 52, had offered false information when he said he was beaten to keep him from talking about alleged financial irregularities at the nuclear lab. But the version of events set forth in the statement was sharply at odds with what Hook and his supporters said happened in Santa Fe early Sunday.
"Facts, evidence and information obtained during the course of this investigation has led investigators to believe that the altercation involving Mr. Hook is an isolated incident and is in no way related to Mr. Hook's whistleblower status at the Los Alamos National Laboratories," Santa Fe Deputy Police Chief Eric Johnson said in the statement.
The investigation is "leaning toward a fight in the parking lot as a result of Mr. Hook backing into a pedestrian," Johnson said.
Hook suffered a broken jaw, a herniated disc and missing teeth in the incident. He, his wife and his lawyer have said he was attacked to keep him quiet about his accusations against lab management.
"This individual was telling me I should keep my (expletive) mouth shut," Hook said Tuesday, describing what happened during the beating in an interview with CBS News.