More Coppedge Coverage — Good and Bad

This isn’t really news to our regular readers, but it’s interesting anyway. In the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin of Ontario, California we found this: Judge rules in JPL’s favor in wrongful termination lawsuit centered around ‘intelligent design’.

Let’s begin with the headline. As you know (despite the ranting from Coppedge’s supporters), this was always a routine employment case, and it was never about the merits of intelligent design. Okay, now here comes the really funny part. The newspaper says, with our bold font for emphasis:

JPL attorneys argued that Coppedge, the one-time head of the Cassini mission to Saturn, had become a combative employee whose skills had faded.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Coppedge gets more grandiose with every retelling of his story. Now he was running the whole show!

The next excerpt is newsworthy because it’s the first time we’ve seen a statement from JPL since the trial ended:

“We are very pleased with the decision reached by the court,” JPL officials said in a statement Thursday. “As we’ve stated from the beginning, the allegations raised by Mr. Coppedge were without merit. After weighing the evidence in this case, the court has agreed.”

Finally, in a rare display of even-handedness, the story quotes something favorable to JPL from the court’s decision:

“The evidence shows that Caltech has a detailed layoff policy, incorporating a layoff ranking process, which (Coppedge’s supervisor) carried out. The evidence clearly shows that (Coppedge’s co- workers) were more qualified than Coppedge regarding the skills needed on the project going forward, such as SCO/ ITL, web servers, and Linux, and that Coppedge had a history of poor customer relationships, particularly in comparison to the other System Administrators,” the judgement said.

Maybe, one of these days, the press will figure out what the Coppedge case was all about. It doesn’t matter, really. The judge understood, and that’s what’s important.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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11 responses to “More Coppedge Coverage — Good and Bad

  1. Wow, I hadn’t realized Coppedge was head of the Cassini project. What a loss to JPL, tsk, tsk. I guess NASA will shut down any further space exploration ventures since they no longer have the caliber of services offered by Coppedge.

  2. retiredsciguy

    In hindsight, JPL probably wishes that they had laid Coppedge off with dignity — David Coppedge, Network Administrator Emeritus. They could have honored him with a wonderful luncheon, awarded him with a framed, gold-plated punch card, and given him a Collector’s Edition set of Rev. David Rives DVDs as a token of their appreciation.

  3. In the upper left corner of that web page is a link to send corrections to the city desk. I sent them an email detailing the errors in those two paragraphs. Who knows why reporter Brian Charles wrote it that way. He’s been following the trial and even attended some of the hearings, as I recall.

    Go ahead, fellow Curmudgeonites, stand up for the Truth ™ and let the city desk know the error of their ways! Tell ’em to get off your lawn!

  4. In other news, the final order is on the NCSE website and it’s short. Basically, “We’re done.”

    And in other news, the Tooters are raging at the injustice as expected. Certifiably insane creationist Corny Hunter has a long-ish diatribe on his blog where he misrepresents every aspect of the affair except Coppedge’s name. And, of course, the rest of the asylum inmates gibber away about “atheists at JPL” and other mindless blather. At least they feel persecuted which fills my heart with joy.

  5. Retired Prof

    retiredsciguy, if Coppedge received a gold-plated punch card, he’d probably be so proud of it he’d take it and have it bronzed.

  6. Sometimes, reading the responses on this blog is like watching a really good episode of Second City TV.


  7. So when does JPL stick ’em with the bill for their costs. It should be a pretty hefty amount.

  8. retiredsciguy

    @Retired Prof: That’s funny!

    @Ed: $$$$$$$$$

  9. @RSG: “They could have honored him with a wonderful luncheon, awarded him with a framed, gold-plated punch card, and given him a Collector’s Edition set of Rev. David Rives DVDs as a token of their appreciation.”
    Mt. Dew. Keyboard. You know the rest.

  10. Becker may get paid regardless if the Tooters and their backers have been backing him. Coppers, however, will get nothing unless he cut a deal with the Tooters for “time in grade.” I doubt Coppers will get a substantial payout, 500k, from the Tooters, more like 40k or so for his time.

    Will the Tooters cut and run or will they stand and fight? That’s the question. Of course, it’s not their money. Will their backers back an appeal? What’s the point? They will lose on appeal and they must know it so they’ll have to weigh the benefit of “fighting the fight” versus “fighting a losing fight.” With twisted minds like the Tooters and their backers it’s hard to tell how it will fall.

  11. I suggest petitions to the White House and the Congress to demand NASA to name its next Saturn mission after Coppedge.