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Ex-Argonne Employee Gets Drug Treatment, Suspended Sentence in Theft

July 21, 2008

By Chicago Tribune

Jul. 21–A former Argonne National Laboratory employee was sentenced Monday to 2 years of drug-offender probation and given a 90-day suspended sentence for stealing thousands of dollars worth of metal equipment from the facility in DuPage County.

Jay Goatley, 43, of the 2200 block of Preston Lakes Court, Plainfield, a stationary engineer who had worked at Argonne for 17 years, pleaded guilty to theft last month.

Goatley was charged Dec. 20 with stealing copper wire, a 3-foot stainless-steel tub, two stainless-steel gas cylinder gauges, two lead bricks and a 5-foot experimental line apparatus. Argonne security officials valued the items at $9,800. He was fired shortly after his arrest, officials said.

Assistant State’s Atty. Louisa Nuckolls said most of the materials were recovered.

Defense attorney Joseph Bugos said Monday that the theft did not involve unique government information and that most of the stolen material was scrap that the defendant hoped to resell. Bugos said Goatley has completed seven months of drug treatment.

Goatley had faced up to 5 years in prison, and Judge Robert Anderson told Goatley Monday that if he falters on his drug treatment, the 90-day suspended sentence could be imposed at any time. Anderson also ordered Goatley to pay Argonne $9,800 in restitution.

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