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Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Resigns After 'Grave Concern' Over Allegedly Aggressive Behavior

"I can be passionate. I can be intense."

Gregory B. Jaczko, who was designated Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by Barack Obama in May, 2009, has resigned after a series of what Politico is describing as "personality conflicts" -- incidents that seemingly interfered with his work.

Though his term runs through June 2013, Jaczko said this morning that he would be quitting upon confirmation of his successor, and denies any charges of wrongdoing.

Politico explains:

An NRC inspector general report last year referenced several accounts from current and former NRC staff members who said Jaczko’s aggressive behavior created “an intimidating work environment,” in part because he often yelled at his colleagues...

His abrupt announcement comes as another NRC IG report is expected soon to delve into those personnel issues. Last month, Jaczko “categorically” denied that he had specifically focused his aggression against women.

According to the Washington Post, four other commissioners on the five-person panel (two Democrats and two Republicans) sent a letter to the White House in October expressing “grave concern” about Jaczko’ s behavior, which they said was “causing serious damage” to the commission and could negatively affect the safety of the nation’s nuclear power plants.

“I can be passionate. I can be intense,” Jaczko admitted in December. “If that’s ever been misconstrued or misinterpreted, I want to know immediately.”

A former aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, an inspector general’s report released last summer further said that Jaczko had withheld information from members of the commission to manipulate their decisions on critical votes.

Reid commented, upon the announcement of Jaczko's departure: “He dedicated his tenure to improving the safety of nuclear energy, and his leadership during the Fukushima nuclear crisis protected millions of Americans.”

One last thing…
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