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Suspicious Circumstances Surrounding David Coppedge’s Firing from JPL Explained in Fox News Interview

Robert Crowther

In a Fox News interview this morning, David Coppedge and his attorney, William J. Becker Jr., explained the suspicious circumstances surrounding Coppedge’s firing from Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) last year.

As we saw yesterday, Darwin-defenders are claiming Coppedge was let go merely because “the mission that he was working on was winding down and he was laid off.” But does it make sense that Coppedge would be the one laid off from his team in that situation? Coppedge explains in the interview why his layoff was suspicious:

There were only two of us let go at that time of a team of six, and I was the most senior in the group, with the most experience and history on the team, and the other was near retirement.

The Fox News anchor then observes that JPL’s lawyers downplay Coppedge’s layoff since he was “one of two Cassini technicians and among 246 JPL employees let go last year just because of budget cuts.” Coppedge explainied why that didn’t justify his firing:

No. The other layoffs occurred months later. [Mine] was in January of 2011. We knew that there was a reduction in force, and we would have achieved that reduction just by attrition, had they not padded the team by adding two additional people a few months before the layoffs began, and ranking me ridiculously low on ratings even though I had had good reviews for the prior 14 years I had been on the mission.

As explained here, JPL’s explanation of Coppedge’s layoff makes no sense: If Coppedge was fired simply because his program was “winding down,” then why did JPL management write e-mails about getting rid of him almost 2 years earlier–right after he was disciplined for talking about intelligent design?

Robert Crowther, II

Robert Crowther holds a BA in Journalism with an emphasis in public affairs and 20 years experience as a journalist, publisher, and brand marketing and media relations specialist. From 1994-2000 he was the Director of Public and Media Relations for Discovery Institute overseeing most aspects of communications for each of the Institute's major programs. In addition to handling public and media relations he managed the Institute's first three books to press, Justice Matters by Roberta Katz, Speaking of George Gilder edited by Frank Gregorsky, and The End of Money by Richard Rahn.



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