On The ‘Unquarked Debacle’

Letter To The Editor_Pongratz Endorses Chris Chandler For House District 43 Seat (2)


At the recent county meeting regarding the UnQuarked debacle, which was held on February 21, 2020, Chair Scott stated that she had received limited communications from the public regarding this matter. I obtained copies of these communications, including her responses, by submitting an IPRA request to the county.

The first communication on this matter was sent to Chair Scott on Jun 28, 2019. On July 2, 2019, she replied stating that she had begun looking into this matter on July 1, 2019, and that she would get back to the writer once she had more information. As of February 27, 2020, there is no record of her responding as promised.

Eight additional communications were sent to Chair Scott regarding UnQuarked. She responded to these communications as follows:

July 2, 2019 – No response.

July 15, 2019 – “Thank you for your note and thoughts regarding Unquarked, they have been received and reviewed.”

July 15, 2019 – “Thank you for your note regarding Unquarked, your comments have been received and reviewed.”

July 17, 2019 – “Thank you for your note and thoughts regarding Unquarked.”

July 16, 2019 – “Thank you for your note regarding Unquarked. It has been received and reviewed.”

September 9, 2019 – “Thank you for your note and your question regarding County employees. Please note that the email that you reference below was not generated by a County employee, it was sent to a County employee by a community member. Please let me know if you’d like to discuss, I’d be happy to give you a call.”

December 16, 2019 – “Thank you for your note and thoughts regarding this issue. They’ve been received and noted.”

January 8, 2020 – “Thank you for your note and sharing your thoughts on this topic. The County Manager is copied on this reply and has the information as well.”

After attending the county meeting, I sent Chair Scott the following communication. In response to another IPRA request, Chair Scott forwarded my communication to the County’s Designated Custodian of Public Records on February 27, 2020. As of March 5, 2020, I have still not received any response.

Appeal Hearling for Sirphey, LLC

Chair Scott,

I attended your meeting, on February 21, 2020, involving the UnQuarked hearing. As a Citizen of Los Alamos County, I wish to explore the following subjects. First, I wish to state that I have never had any relationship with Mr. Jain, or Ms. Nucklos. I have been a customer of Sirphey. LLC, on occasion.

Immediately after Mr. Leaphart discussed the “wall” concept that was created within his department as a result of this issue, Ms. Nucklos attempted to ask if she “can I pose a question to Mr. Leaphart …” at which time you said “not at this time.”


  1. At what time was Ms. Nuclos allowed to pose a question to Mr. Leaphart?
  2. Did you explain to Ms. Nuclos when it was/would be appropriate for her to pose a question to Mr. Leaphart? If not, why not? OP

Next, after asking if either party had any objection to this board hearing this case, Ms.  Nucklos said that she did, and that she had documentation as to why she thought that Mr. Burgess should recuse himself from the process. You told her that her objection was overruled. You went on to say that the documentation presented to you by Ms. Nucklos would be entered into the record.


  1. What led you to overrule Ms. Nucklos’ objection that Mr. Burgess be on this board? 
  2. Why did you not include any detail at the time?

Lastly, as a result of this meeting, the next meeting is scheduled for March 30, at 8:00 AM, at Council Chambers.


  1. Is this meeting open to the public/press?

Thank you. 

Mark Mitchell

Good Citizens and taxpayers of Los Alamos County, this is our county leadership.

Mark Mitchell
Los Alamos