RESEARCHER IS SUSPENDED DURING ANTHRAX PROBE



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Last Updated

22 Aug 2003

Source: Washington Post, August 3, 2002.

Researcher Is Suspended During Probe Of Anthrax

By Tom Jackman, Washington Post Staff Writer

A Frederick doctor whose apartment was searched by federal agents for a second time Thursday in the ongoing anthrax investigation was suspended from his job yesterday, his attorney said.

Steven J. Hatfill, 48, a former Army researcher and biochemist at Fort Detrick, the Pentagon's top biodefense research center, has not been charged and has not been called a suspect in last fall's anthrax mailings, which killed five people, authorities said.

Last month, he accepted a job as associate director of Louisiana State University's National Center for Biomedical Research and Training, teaching law enforcement and emergency personnel how to deal with biological threats.

But the university suspended him yesterday for 30 days with pay, said Victor M. Glasberg, Hatfill's attorney. "As a result of the intemperate actions of the investigating authorities," Glasberg said, "Steve Hatfill has been suspended from his job."

Hatfill, who had access to anthrax spores similar to those mailed last fall, took an FBI lie-detector test in February, invited the FBI to search his apartment in June and was offering to meet with investigators again this week when they arrived at his residence with a search warrant, Glasberg said.

University spokesman Gene C. Sands confirmed that Hatfill was placed on paid administrative leave because of the FBI investigation and that the school will reevaluate his status in 30 days.