It seems pretty clear that the event that started this whole sad case (Coppedge v. JPL) was when Margaret Weisenfelder complained to a supervisor that David Coppedge made her uncomfortable with his offer to loan her a DVD on intelligent design. The events that led to her complaint seem pretty straightforward, and her account is pretty similar to his account. She stated in her interview with the human resources investigator and admitted in her deposition the following (see citations and page numbers below):
When he offered to loan her a DVD, she accepted it.
She watched the DVD and found nothing in it that was offensive.
After watching it, she left it on Coppedge’s desk to avoid speaking to him.
She never told him that his offer to loan her a DVD was unwelcome.
She never had a religious discussion with him.
She never had a discussion about intelligent design with him.
She never asked him what the writing on the sticky note (“try again”) stuck to the DVD meant.
She went to his supervisor and complained about him and said it made her “uncomfortable.”
The supervisor, Greg Chin, said in his interview with HR that Weisenfelder accused Coppedge of harassment based on this.
As noted above, these facts come from the statements and testimony of JPL employees, and is consistent with Coppedge’s testimony. You can find it here, at the following page numbers:
Weisenfelder interview by the JPL HR investigator, page 16.
Weisenfelder deposition, page 5.
Chin interview by the JPL HR investigator, page 60.