Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Did Entergy KILL A Family? Lessard Murder Suicide Raises UGLY QUESTIONS

This Woman Was Killed By Her Husband, Steven Lessard...Could Entergy Have PREVENTED IT?
Imagine the shock and horror in quaint Peekskill Lake as the residents learned that a very well known and respected employee of Entergy's Indian Point Nuclear Plants in Buchanan, New York had killed his wife and daughter before taking his own life...more importantly, what signs did Entergy miss on February 8th, 2007 that could have saved the lives of these innocent victims of Steven Lessard's great agnst and anger? We might never known the full hideous truth behind this local murder/suicide, but it is obvious that the NRC needs to open up a full fledged investigation into the issues surrounding the Indian Point/Lessard MURDERS!

Perhaps the stress of working within the confines of Entergy's failing Indian Point Reactors was too much for the normally quiet 51-year-old U.S. Naval Academy graduate, and he just SNAPPED...or perhaps something far more SINISTER was/is at play? His behavior on February 8th, 2007 was ODD ENOUGH to capture the attention of his fellow employee, caustic enough for them to bring his behavior to the attention of his immediate superiors...whatever occurred, Entergy kept it SECRET, hid the horrid truth of his actions from authorities who might have been able to save Steven Lessard's life. Perhaps if Entergy had not been so secretive about Indian Point and it's incestuous family of workers, authorities could have intervened, could have saved the innocent lives of Steven's wife and daughter!

We have all heard the recent reports of the leaked strontium 90, and tritium from the Indian Point plant, have heard about the leaking spent fuel pools...what if what we have here is NOT a murder/suicide? What if Steven Lessard was about to become a major whistle blower, and someone needed him silenced, like the lambs? What if there was some kind of a RELEASE at the site that affected Mr. Lessard? So many questions that the public NEEDS answers to, yet will we come up against a wall of silence, will Entergy close ranks and keep the events surrounding February 8th forever silent and hidden from public review?

MURDER-SUICIDE: Father was placed on leave for irrational behavior
By Greg Clary
The Journal News
(Original Publication: February 20, 2007)


BUCHANAN - Steven Lessard, the killer in the Putnam murder-suicide case, first showed some irrational behavior at his Indian Point job on Feb. 8, when co-workers noticed that he seemed to be unusually upset about his car getting a flat tire.

The normally quiet 51-year-old U.S. Naval Academy graduate didn't routinely generate much notice among his co-workers, said a spokesman for Entergy Nuclear Northeast, which owns and operates the plant.

But that day, he was visibly upset about what he had to do to get his car back on the road, and it triggered the other members of his 12-employee project management group to notify their supervisor, Michael Rutkoske.

"We're trained and required to do that," said Entergy spokesman Jim Steets. "It was a relatively minor personal issue, so after talking to his supervisor, the two of them went up to speak to the fitness for duty coordinator."

Sharon Quinn, a registered nurse, spent 90 minutes with Lessard and Rutkoske and they all agreed that Lessard should go home until he felt better. Steets said he continued to be paid during his time off.

"She offered him help through our employee assistance program, but he declined," Steets said. "He said he was seeing a doctor. She even asked him if he were comfortable with that doctor and he said he was."

Lessard was due today to speak to Entergy officials about returning to work, a day after authorities discovered that he had strangled his wife, Kathy Lessard, 48, and their 14-year-old daughter Linda, and then killed himself in their family home in Putnam Valley.

Indian Point officials said Lessard had been transferred at his own request from an engineering job at Indian Point 2 to a project management position that served the entire nuclear site.

At the time of his leave, he was working on a piping upgrade to serve Indian Point 2 and Indian Point 3. He did not operate any equipment or deal with any safety-related procedures, officials said.

Rutkoske said early this afternoon that Lessard was "a very dedicated worker" who had come under Rutkoske's supervision in October.

"He was relatively quiet," Rutkoske said. "Very much interested in following proper processes and procedures."

When the flat tire problem upset Lessard so much, Rutkoske said he knew it had something under it that was the real cause of his agitation.

"It just meant to me that there were other things going on, if a car tire was getting him upset," the supervisor said.

Rutkoske said Lessard wasn't the kind of guy who mixed a lot with co-workers and ate his lunch alone most of the time. He said he hadn't heard anything about possible domestic troubles.

Lessard's co-workers were concerned enough about him that they took up a collection and sent him a basket of fruit while he was on medical leave. His wife even called up to thank the workers for their thoughtfulness and said he was doing better, company officials said.

"He had no performance issues, and when they asked him about lightening his load, he didn't want to do that because he didn't want to burden his co-workers," Steets said. "The feeling was that he was very hard on himself. But he was considered a 'valuable contributor,' which is a category of employee rating that the company uses."

Lessard had come to the site in 1995 as an employee of General Physics, an engineering contractor. He was given a routine psychiatric evaluation and background check at the time. The background check was updated as required in 2003, with no visible problems, Steets said. He had been hired full time by Con Edison in 2001, right before the plants were sold to Entergy.

"The background check can often turn up outside stresses, such as financial," he said. "But none showed up."

Steets said the company would review all of Lessard's work, "given what's occurred," but didn't expect to find any problems. (Forget reviewing Lessard's work, how about MAKING IT PUBLIC?)

"There's no reason to think there would be anything wrong with his work," Steets said. "And he wasn't working on any critical things." (Why does Steets feel compelled here to assure us that Lessard was not working on ANYTHING critical?)


Anonymous said...

I find it absolutely reprehensible that you would stoop so low as to use this terrible tragedy to further your anti-nuclear agenda. My wife and I have almost seventy years of combined service at Indian Point. Whether you agree with nuclear power or not there's one thing that we have realized over the years about anti-nukes, that they don't understand that the people that work at Indian Point are human beings and we all consider ourselves one big family. You have insulted our family by using this family tragedy for your own purposes. I think you owe the Lessard's and the human beings at Indian Point an apology.

Dan Noto

Anonymous said...

I am Steven/Kathy Lessard's niece and Linda's cousin. I think that you need to take into consideration that other people, meaning myself, have feelings and do not appreciate some of the things that were being implied in this article. You have no idea what went on so keep your two cents to yourself.