Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fabricated credentials landed job at Palisades


December 18, 2007

BY CHRIS KILLIAN

Then the credentials of William E. Clark, the former head of security at the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in Covert, were exposed as fake in an article by Tom Junod in the June edition of Esquire magazine.

Clark had said he worked as a paid assassin, had high-level security clearances at the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense and had participated in numerous covert operations in several countries around the globe.

All turned out to be lies.

Clark, who also went by the nickname ``Zeke,'' resigned from his job on May 9, two days before the article ran on the magazine's Web site.

Since the stunning revelations were made known, another security manager has been hired at Palisades, said Mark Savage, spokesman for the power plant, which is owned by New Orleans-based Entergy Corp.

The hiring practices at the facility have not changed, Savage said.

Applicants at Palisades are required to have a total of 27 references, submit to drug and alcohol tests and have a criminal background investigation performed, Savage said.

Surprisingly, Clark passed all his security checks when he applied for the job. While at Palisades, he trained security personnel in weapons use and formed an elite security force he called the ``Viper Team.''

Clark said in a May interview with the Kalamazoo Gazette that he had hoped to use his Viper Team as a security model that could be used at other nuclear power plants throughout the country.

``He did his job,'' Savage said. ``What he did on a personal basis we can't comment on, but he did his job. He determined for himself not to work here anymore.''

In the May interview, Clark, who could not be reached for comment for this report, said he knew he was lying to Junod.

Clark got the job at Palisades because, he said, ``I had the security skills necessary to protect the facility. Simple.''

When asked if he was a liar, Clark responded: ``Of course I am. Isn't everyone?''

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