Richard Dawkins Drops His Lawsuit Against Former Employee

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything on the lawsuit between the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and former employee Josh Timonen.

In short: RDFRS was accusing Timonen of “embezzling $375,000″ from the charity.

Latest news? Dawkins has dropped his suit.

His lawyer claims it was just too costly to keep it going:

“We’d been litigating for nine months and estimated that it probably would cost at least another $100,000,” Dawkins’s lawyer, Blaine Greenberg, tells Mandrake. “I recommended not to continue, entirely on a cost-benefit analysis.”

Timonen just says he was in the right all along:

Timonen, a web designer, claims that Dawkins dropped the case because of a lack of evidence.

So no real resolution, but at least that drama is over. Maybe. I think.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Mattir

    This is totally not about Dawkins, but is anyone else really weirded out by the religious ads (Knights of Columbus, Catholic “protect marriage” stuff, etc. ad nauseum) on this new host?  Really, Hemant – you can do better.  Unless, of course, atheist ads are turning up on all of the religious blog views, which I *seriously* doubt…

    • Veparker2000

      Actually, I’m getting photography-related ads.  I think the ads are targeted to your “cookies” or something.  (I’m a photographer.)

    • Veparker2000

      Actually, I’m getting photography-related ads.  I think the ads are targeted to your “cookies” or something.  (I’m a photographer.)

      • Anonymous

        My ads are showing up as cages for pet rats, totally something I’ve been looking at a lot lately. Stop going to those dirty religious sites! XD

        • Sunioc

          Ads? What are these ads of which you speak? FSM invented adblocker for a reason.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593675787 Glenn Davey

      I’m seeing ads for the Surrey Hotel, Optus (internet provider), and an ad for Neil Degrasse Tyson, Hyann Hirsi Ali and Christopher Hitchens in Melbourne, which sounds quite interesting.

      I guess the Patheos internets knows what you’re really interested in ;)

    • gsw

      KNOW THY ENEMY! 

  • Tony Ryan

    It’s a shame. I think out of principle that Dawkins should have pursued it.

  • http://onefuriousllama.com/ One Furious Llama

    Timonen, a web designer, claims that Dawkins dropped the case because of a lack of evidence. <- Sounds to me like: I'm guilty but you can't prove it.

    I hate to see a criminal get away, especially after stealing from a charity, but until there is a trial, I guess we have to assume he's innocent… right? Right.

  • http://onefuriousllama.com/ One Furious Llama

    Timonen, a web designer, claims that Dawkins dropped the case because of a lack of evidence. <- Sounds to me like: I'm guilty but you can't prove it.

    I hate to see a criminal get away, especially after stealing from a charity, but until there is a trial, I guess we have to assume he's innocent… right? Right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dharmaworks David Benjamin Patton

    Mattir – This is something that is beyond Hamet to really control regarding the religious ads. It’s endemic of the web – particularly with Goggle – to pair religious ads with religious themed public forums. If there were a lot more atheist ads and businesses bringing in revenue than religious i.e. christian ones you’d definitely see those instead. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dharmaworks David Benjamin Patton

    Mattir – This is something that is beyond Hamet to really control regarding the religious ads. It’s endemic of the web – particularly with Goggle – to pair religious ads with religious themed public forums. If there were a lot more atheist ads and businesses bringing in revenue than religious i.e. christian ones you’d definitely see those instead. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dharmaworks David Benjamin Patton

    Mattir – This is something that is beyond Hamet to really control regarding the religious ads. It’s endemic of the web – particularly with Goggle – to pair religious ads with religious themed public forums. If there were a lot more atheist ads and businesses bringing in revenue than religious i.e. christian ones you’d definitely see those instead. 

  • Ejk

    I have to admit I don’t know the background, but it seems odd that the first step when you find a theft of that magnitude would be a civil lawsuit.  Did the authorities decline to prosecute criminally?  And isn’t there a charities oversight office of some sort that would look into diversion of charitable assets?  

  • Jccarter25

    I didn’t know anything about this either, but I think Ejk’s question is a good one. Why was this guy not prosecuted? Anyone have a good link to the details of the case?

    • http://aratina.blogspot.com Aratina Cage

      Josh Timonen himself set up a site that publicly provides some (or all?) of the case documents: http://dawkinssuestimonen.com/

    • http://aratina.blogspot.com Aratina Cage

      Josh Timonen himself set up a site that publicly provides some (or all?) of the case documents: http://dawkinssuestimonen.com/

  • Colin Steadman

    Josh made some aweful decisions on that website, like scrapping the forum from which the community was built.  Maybe his replacement will do the right thing and bring it back.  That whole situation runined the RDF site.


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