Links to other articles in this series are included below. — Editors
By Tori Richards | Colorado Watchdog
GOLDEN, COLO. – A woman angered by a Watchdog investigation into the government lab where she works retaliated by threatening mass murder against this news organization in several Twitter posts.
“Have you ever felt like going on a murderous rampage? Start at @WatchdogCO ‘s offices. They perpetuate lies like this,” Kerrilee Ann Crosby tweeted last month while working at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
“You guys are f***ing retarded. You are the Fox News of blogs. At first I thought I was reading The Onion, but no not the case,” Crosby continued.
Crosby, 34, was responding to a Watchdog story detailing massive spending at the secret government lab, a Jimmy Carter initiative to push green energy. NREL and the two companies that manage its activities have received more than $1 billion from taxpayers since 2010 alone. Top executives at the lab earn well into six figures. NREL’s top manager, Dan Arvizu, makes close to $1 million per year. His two top lieutenants rake in more than$500,000 each and nine others make more than $350,000 a year.
Crosby started working at NREL two years ago and now has a job in the technology department where she is a faculty member. NREL refused to elaborate on her position.
Through its own Twitter account, Watchdog Colorado responded to Crosby’s tweets over several days during the final week of November. At one point we wrote, “Wondering why you, someone from the state of Columbine/Aurora, is advocating mass murder.”
Crosby responded: “Because you deserve to die.” Watchdog reiterated the Columbine/Aurora issue and Crosby added: “I DO! Especially since you are next door! I can’t remember where I left my gun, though. Found it!”
Another tweet soon followed: “GUNS FOR SALE! @WatchdogCO.”
Crosby identified herself only by the handle “crosbolicious.” Watchdog was able to identify her and tracked her to NREL.
“The person who wrote the tweets in question is employed at NREL in a non-supervisory staff position,” NREL spokesperson George Douglas acknowledged in an email to Watchdog.org. “Her opinions do not represent those of the Laboratory. She has been found in violation of NREL’s policy on social networking and appropriate action is being taken.”
Douglas refused to make public NREL’s social networking policy, saying employees technically work for a nonprofit management organization, and the management company doesn’t share personnel information or policies. In fact, NREL is funded by the Department of Energy and manages government contracts. Employee emails end with the government designation, “.gov.”
A spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department where NREL is located and where Crosby lives said the agency takes violent threats seriously and investigates them when reported.
“If it was predictable it would be preventable,” Officer Mark Techmeyer told Watchdog, saying that no one can predict what a killer looks like. He referred to the Columbine massacre and the Aurora theater shooting. “You have to look at all the facts pertaining to the case. What is being said on Twitter? Is it simple harassment or should it be taken more seriously?”
Crosby’s Linkedin profile had the header: “I take my day job seriously.” But her Twitter feed is filled with dozens of tweets per day that appear during the business hours. They detail graphic sex, love of alcohol, and the Denver music scene, and bemoan her lackluster dating life.
“i’m gonna be the tree at my office Christmas party tonight. Get it? Cause I’ll be so lit up. Get it?” Crosby tweeted recently. And: “Barfing out passenger window, going down 6th at 30 mph in merging traffic and no one honked at me.”
Despite her Linkedin declaration that she is a good employee, she posted this about her job at NREL: “In our weekly meetings I play this lil game called How Much Can I Fart In This Leather Chair And Get Away W/ It. Works best with a hangover.”
Crosby did not respond to requests for an interview and has since deleted her Linkedin profile and set her Twitter page to private.
Tori Richards can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other articles in this series:
Secret energy lab spawns million-dollar government employee (Nov. 24, 2012)
‘Murderous rampage’: Gov’t lab worker threatens reporters (Dec. 12, 2012)
SPECIAL: Watchdog’s 25 scariest people, version 2012 (Dec. 24, 2012)
Murderous rampage worker eyed by cops, off job (Dec. 21, 2012)
Worker exploits lax DOE policy to send threats (Feb. 11, 2013)