LOS ANGELES – A judge has tentatively ruled that a former computer specialist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was not dismissed because he advocated his belief in intelligent design while at work.
Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige said Thursday he is leaning in favor of JPL’s argument that David Coppedge instead was let go because he was combative and did not keep his skills sharp.
Hiroshige, who presided over the lawsuit’s trial in April, ordered a final ruling to that effect be drawn up and distributed within 30 days.
Coppedge, a self-described evangelical Christian, had worked on NASA’s Cassini mission to explore Saturn for 15 years until he was dismissed in 2011.
In his wrongful termination suit,
Coppedge claimed he was demoted in 2009, then let go for engaging his co-workers in conversations about intelligent design and for handing out DVDs on the topic while at work.