back to article One-time Mars InSight Lander engineer scores $1.5m redress over whistleblower sacking

An American jury has awarded $1.5m to a former NASA engineer who was fired by his contractor ManTech in retaliation for his blowing the whistle over documents from Lockheed Martin. David Lillie was able to "prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he had a good faith belief that ManTech was committing a fraud or …

  1. Richard Boyce

    Costs?

    I imagine the legal costs were substantial. Did the plaintiff have to pay any of those costs?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Costs?

      Surely such is an Expense and Systems Pay for Everything.

      And that Revelation to Captains of the Federal Reserve Capital Loot/Purloined and Furloughed Wealth/Immaculate Bounty.

      That's the Stage where IT is at. Did you know Alien Futures follow Earthly AIdVentures?

      cc Jerome Powell

      1. GrapeBunch Bronze badge

        Re: Costs?

        I got it straight from the mars's man mouth.

      2. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
        Alien

        ... and a double Largactil on the rocks for my little green friend here.

        So, got another day pass from Area 51 then?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Costs?

        Methinks the low-oxygen atmosphere may have caused some damage. It might have been better had you stayed on earth. Does anyone understand these posts? My current theory is that someone tried to write a bot to perform automatic replies, but didn't finish.

        1. EveryTime Silver badge

          Re: Costs?

          It's a bot that spews nonsense. It's a distraction almost as bad as a troll.

          The first AManFromMars account was killed. I don't know why this one hasn't been killed as well.

          1. Martin Summers Silver badge

            Re: Costs?

            He actually used to make some sense at one point but stopped around a year or more ago. If you Google him you'll see this is not the only place he has frequented.

          2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: Costs as Slush Funding Expenses in Black Operations*

            Talking of distracting nonsense, Every Time, here's something which can easily be wrong ......

            You're not who you think you are;

            you're not who others think you are;

            you're who you think others think you are! .... Source Unknown

            ...... and that permits and aids and abets this brace of flawless gems ....

            No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.-- Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 1521

            and

            O divine art of subtlety and secrecy! Through you we learn to be invisible, through you inaudible; and hence hold the enemy's fate in our hands. -- Sun Tzu, The Art of War, c. 500bc

            Does that suggest that Ancient Dark Arts Lead Postmodern Living?

            When true, what do you think you need do to both follow and/or lead, besides question more, read and file to dynamic memory for ........ well, future speculative out of sequence executions in 0day vulnerability exploitations is just one facility and utility for satisfying? YMMV however and present other obstacles and daemons to negotiate and conquer/overcome and AIMaster.

            * Not for the Lily-Livered and Faint Hearted.

  2. I3N
    Angel

    Best you can hope for is 'protected class' ...

    A friend, once a PFY, told me of a story where his mentor, both govt employees, brought an action against a DOD contractor for stealing (cut and paste) the mentors report.

    Submitted as a deliverable.

    Mentor testified in court regarding the fraud and contractor was convicted.

    Years later, a much older PFY, said he saw that same DOD contractor on TV.

    Arrested for robbing a bank.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Due Restitution

    Glad to see this chap got a decent wodge of compensation after being fired for doing the right thing. Clearly he knew the proper way to raise concerns, and that's what's saved him. Well done.

    It just goes to show that any of us could find ourselves in a situation where we know we're going to have to get a new job because our employer is breaking the law.

    In my experience it's surprisingly common; I've known two friends / colleagues who have had to take measures (preserving emails, etc, lodging them with lawyers) to maintain their liberty and reputations because their bosses were creating bad situations.

    Rule 1; look after yourself first, company second. Your liberty is move important than your job (ask some former VW engineers). Rule 2; find the proper way to escalate concerns, don't just blab it to the newspapers or social media.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Due Restitution

      Rule 1; look after yourself first, company second

      Anyone that's worked in Corporate IT for any length of time knows all about CYA..

      1. JJKing Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Due Restitution

        CYA, isn't that the big building in Langley, Virginia.

        Excuse me while I get my micro-rod to catch the microfiche.

  4. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Mushroom

    ManTech committing fraud against the American government

    David Lillie was able to "prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he had a good faith belief that ManTech was committing a fraud or falsehood" against the American government "to obtain the payment of money", according to a US jury verdict

    What exactly was the nature of this fraud and were anyone at ManTech ever held to account and subject to legal sanctions? I figure ManTech was triple-dipping, as in putting in fake invoices for work not-done.

  5. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    $321,875 for "past emotional distress"

    $321,875 again for "future emotional distress"

    Only speaking for myself here, but I think that if I'd just been awarded $1.5 million, I'd be a lot less emotionally distressed after than before

    1. Fatman Silver badge

      RE: I'd be a lot less emotionally distressed after than before

      You might think differently, if you were on the receiving end of a vindictive former employer(/manager) who takes any opportunity to bad mouth you.

      Anyone can say: "Joe Blow is a lazy slacker, and isn't up to the task", but the reputation of the opinion maker should affect the weight it is given. One might take that reference from a boss well known as a hard ass with a large grain of salt; but give more weight to the same reference coming from a boss that is known to be fair, or an employer known for treating its employees fairly.

      There are douchedirtbag employers everywhere. Their credibility needs to be assessed when you get a (good or bad) reference from them.

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: RE: I'd be a lot less emotionally distressed after than before

        You might think differently, if you were on the receiving end of a vindictive former employer(/manager) who takes any opportunity to bad mouth you.

        I don't dispute that there'd be some emotional distress for being on the receiving end of something like that.

        My point was that once the offending employer(/manager) had been found out and punished, and I'd been paid a huge chunk of change by way of compensation, I expect I'd feel less emotional distress.

        With that logic it seemed odd to me that the before and after payments for emotional distress were the same value

        1. The First Dave

          Re: RE: I'd be a lot less emotionally distressed after than before

          But the 'after' time is probably longer than the 'before', so per-annum it _is_ lower.

      2. Cliff Thorburn

        Re: RE: I'd be a lot less emotionally distressed after than before

        Its good to see that Due Process is fair and judicial in the United States, if only other countries upheld such principles of resolution.

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: RE: I'd be a lot less emotionally distressed after than before

          CT, Would you like to admit to everyone that you were being tongue-in-cheek sarcastic with that comment. ......... "Its good to see that Due Process is fair and judicial in the United States, if only other countries upheld such principles of resolution."

          Just in case any would be too easily led to believe it true. There's no point in being as a front and font for that sort of disappointment whenever it is so selective and subjective/choosy and biased.

          1. Cliff Thorburn

            Re: RE: I'd be a lot less emotionally distressed after than before

            I was not being sarcastic at all amFM, I actually believe that there are many things that would be so highly questionable in the US, and would bring cataclysmic Church Committee congress conundrums type investigations demanding such to be carried out and observed through distant data streams in lands of duelling Red Dragons, and Blue Fairies in modern day Korean Cyberwars creating practical prisoners of wars, in modern day Neoconopticon Virtual Observatories with new day NASA Dragon X Alien Territories to phorm new fangled land exploration and Virtual Brains.

            Everyone deserves the right to a fair trial amFM, and prior to inflicting premeditated practical psychological punishment, psy ops, and propaganda on such individuals those persons told and educated to do the right things for the good of all, should have the right to mitigate, if such is an impossible impracticality, then a jury led decision to compensate dire deprivation of liberty is the very least unfortunate chosen individuals of past, present and future rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of ‘appiness dangled on large phishing poles with virtual carrots, perhaps to be banished to islands flying remote control Teradactyls reflecting on loss of chance, and languishing in loves lost and days of future past :-)

            1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

              Re: RE: I'd be a lot less emotionally distressed after than before

              Yeah, that sounds fair and very reasonable, CT. Anything less would be decidedly mean-spirited.

              1. Cliff Thorburn

                Re: RE: I'd be a lot less emotionally distressed after than before

                Although I saw your original response amFM, thank you for your understanding :-)

                Perhaps if plain and simple communication and mutually satisfactory resolution was the order of the day then such events could be considered and confidentially clarified by the powers that be, then the world would be a far less stressful place to be.

                1. Martin Summers Silver badge

                  Re: RE: I'd be a lot less emotionally distressed after than before

                  Cliff, I hate to break it to you mate...

      3. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: RE: I'd be a lot less emotionally distressed after than before

        Not only that, but this effectively deletes a large chunk of his employment experience. If the company that he wants to apply to sees that he has previously shown ethics and has a problem with that, he won't be hired there. Meanwhile, he won't be getting any references from that company even as most companies want to see references from the most recent employers. Depending how long he was employed there, he may find it significantly harder to find employment, and that's if the company doesn't have a method of putting him on a blacklist. If they do have that ability, he may not get another job for a long time or without making a significant upheaval. That would give me a lot of emotional distress.

    2. JJKing Bronze badge
      IT Angle

      Future Stress

      But here arises a problem. You are now known as a whistle-blower so every time you apply for a job you are going to be worried/stressed that you won't get it because of your honest past endeavour. Some, likely a lot, of employers are not going to look favourably on someone who will do the right thing and drop the company in the shit as a result.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SO LOckheed

    will be sidling up to Mantech and demanding substantial Moolah too? And will NASA be comfortable still using such a company on a vital space project ? or will they demand that at least one, if not many senior managers get the boot? Whose careers will also be blighted, unless they change their names ?. STill, they should be welcomed with open arms to the Banking industry (spec lloyds SMB <any bank here>)

    Ethics .. not just a county near london

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