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Chuck Montaño Papers

Identifier: MSS-971-BC

Scope and Content

The collection, amassed by Chuck Montaño, documents controversial policies, procedures, and actions carried out by Los Alamos National Laboratories. A controversial Reduction in Force implemented by LANL in 1995 and litigated for years, as well as his own whistleblower case are the focus of the collection. Siegfried Heckler was director of the Lab during much of this time. Legal documents, reports, press, correspondence, and other organizational materials shed light on LANL personnel policies and practices, findings of audits and oversight, employee grievances and advocacy efforts.

The material in this collection was used by Montaño in writing Los Alamos: A whistleblower’s diary, published in 2015.


  • 1970-2015
  • Majority of material found within 1994-2005

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biography / History

Chuck Montaño was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM. His professional career began in 1972 as an auditor of federal banks with the US Comptroller of the Currency. His 32 year tenure at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) began in 1978 and ended in 2010, following 6 years of whistleblower retaliation litigation. While at LANL, Montaño was instrumental in creating and steering CLER- Citizens for LANL Employee Rights. Montaño earned a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico in 1989. He held titles of Certified Management Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Internal Auditor, and Certified Information Systems Auditor. He was Chair of the Hispanic Round Table of New Mexico between 2002 and 2004. LANL authorized a “change of station” assignment for Montaño to become Director of Fraud and Special Audits for the New Mexico State Auditor from 2007-2009.


3 boxes (3 cu. ft.)

Language of Materials



The collection contains material relating to discriminatory personnel practices and lack of accountability at Los Alamos National Laboratory.


5 overlapping series:
  1. Reduction in Force Litigation
  2. Montaño and Whistleblower Case
  3. Employee Advocacy and Action
  4. Personnel
  5. Oversight and Issues

Related Archival Material

Robert S. Vrooman collection pertaining to Wen Ho Lee and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Processing Information

Materials were unorganized/unfoldered prior to processing. Arrangement has been imposed while processing.
Finding aide of the Chuck Montaño Papers, 1970-2015
B. Silbergleit
© 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131