Monday, June 06, 2005

Thank you for all you have done

To Doug: . I wrote the following before the post about you retiring. I wish you the best, hope you find good things in your future, and hope you will always know that you did good for us. …

To all of Todd’s friends and supporters on the blog, I would like to thank you for all you have done. I would thank each of you personally no matter how long it took if I knew who you were, but I guess it’s fitting to thank you here on this forum. Your voices of concern, donations to the memorial fund (and other fund raising efforts like selling those pins) and overall support are truly appreciated. Donations to Todd’s memorial fund have been generous and the children and I will be ok until we can decide what to do.

I want to thank Doug for setting up this blog. The longer UC/LANL delayed the employment grievance process, the more anxious Todd grew to get his story out. He and John Horne had been thinking about going to the press with the story, but it was prudent to remain quiet. At one point there was a newspaper story that talked about how the missing CREM was one of the biggest news stories of 2004 in Los Alamos and that the mystery had yet to be figured out. Knowing that to be untrue, it was a turning point for Todd, the point at which he decided that getting the truth out was paramount even if it did give the lab time to invent defenses. There were reporters that Todd and John Horne trusted to take a shot at the story, but when they found out about the blog and realized that the story could be posted in their own words without worry of information being misconstrued by a reporter, it was clear that they should post it here. The blog also provided moral support and it helped all of us, even the kids, to know that there were people on our side and that people really did care. I can honestly say that this blog and all the people posting positive comments gave Todd the drive he needed to continue fighting, and made his last days hopeful ones. He died knowing that Nanos was leaving and knowing that there was a good case to gain some restitution and justice for what had been done.

As for that case, I can only say that I will definitely pursue whatever I can to gain justice for Todd, but will have to find the balance between what I must do to keep my family safe and what I can do to make sure that those responsible pay for what they’ve done.

Someone posted a comment about continuing to help the kids and I financially. While much appreciated, I’m embarrassed to take any more of your money. What I really need from you is for you not to forget what happened and to continue to post your opposition to the political bullying that killed Todd and will continue to kill science in Los Alamos.

My sincerest thanks to you.

Sara Kauppila

Sara- stay strong and know that we are behind you. The injustice that Todd and you have suffered must be kept in the forefront of our minds.This is not the first time LANL has abused a loyal employee but the trend must stop. We need to keep his name and the plight he suffered as key topics for discussion whenever possible. If UC realizes we will not let this issue go then they will have to act. If we display the same unified perseverence that we showed with removing Nanos then UC will have no choice but to address the inhuman treatment they foisted upon Todd and your family.
“Integrity and Openness
Our workforce expects and upholds high ethical standards, reflected in our science and engineering and in our relationships with our employees, customers and community. We communicate candidly with a consistent message. We share news with full transparency in an honest, prompt and open way. “ - the above is a quote from the Laboratory website. It is listed as one of our core values.

On May 18th, I emailed the letter below to UC President Dynes, with a copy to the UC Board of Regents. On May 23 (when he had an email address) I sent a copy to our new lab director. I received an acknowledgment that my email had been received by the Board of Regents. To my surprise and disappointment, I have not received an answer or an acknowledgement from either President Dynes or Director Kuckuck.

There are many ways to interpret the lack of response. The one I choose to believe at the moment is that both President Dynes and Director Kuckuck are very busy, and that this issue has slipped off their radar screen.

Sometimes senior managers need to be reminded to do the right thing, just like the rest of us. I really believe that it is in the best interest of the UC, laboratory, the nation, the workforce (us), the Kauppila family, and Director Kuckuck for him to re-address the issue of Todd Kauppila’s firing quickly and thoroughly, and bring this matter to closure. If you believe so as well, please send an email or a note to Director Kuckuck, asking that the issue be resolved. Thanks in advance for your help.

Philip Howe

May 18,2005

Dear President Dynes:

I watched on video the recent conference that you held, with Bob Foley and Bob Kuckuck, at Los Alamos. Thank you for taking the time to meet with us.

I believe that the question asked by a member of the audience regarding the case of Todd Kauppila was phrased in such a way as to make it difficult for you to answer on the spot. I'm therefore going to ask it in a different way:

Many - perhaps most - of us at Los Alamos believe that Todd Kauppila received unfair and injust treatment from our former director. I request that you re-examine the circumstances, conclusions, and actions taken with respect to Todd. I believe that doing this is very much the best action for UC, the lab, Todd, and the nation.

If you find that Todd's actions were such that he deserved firing, then so be it. If you find that there was ambiguity, please err on the side of compassion. If you find that indeed an injustice was committed, then please move quickly to correct it.

It was clear that you, Adm. Foley, and Bob Kuckuck were blindsided by the question at the meeting. That, in itself, sent a message to us. Please be aware that this issue of Todd Kauppila's treatment, in addition to being of critical importance to Todd's family and friends, is at the heart of many of the concerns we at Los Alamos feel for the role of UC, the role of laboratory senior management, and what kind of a laboratory Los Alamos will be in the future. Please go the extra mile to insure that the decision with respect to Todd met acceptable standards of justice, fairness, and compassion, and that we all need not feel ashamed of former Director Nanos’ actions in this matter.

Yours truly,

Philip M. Howe
Los Alamos Staff Member

Cy: UC Board of Regents

Thank you for helping to not let this issue drop. I will also continue to submit my "reminders" to this blog until UC does the right thing.
Sara -

Thank you for taking the time to write to Doug and the rest of us. This blog has drawn a lot of negative energy. Your kind words are appreciated.

Those of us making contributions to the fund for your family assume that if you truly do not need the money, that you will use it for legal costs or pass it on to someone else who needs it.

Steve Smith
Sara, You have said it all: The political bullying that killed Todd (is killing many others spiritually and mentally) and will continue to kill science in Los Alamos. God Bless you and your family.
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