A friend of mine just sent me a link to an InfoWorld piece about Terry Childs and the situation surrounding his arrest in San Francisco. The email referenced in the article sounds very credible to me. It sounds to me like a classic game of politics, taken to an extreme. Terry probably got into an argument with a vindictive supervisor, probably used words that were too heated, and ended up in a bad place.
If the details about Terry's controlling streak are true (not wanting to save configurations on remote routers into flash, disabling password recovery), I have to take some "respect points" away from Terry for making what I'd consider questionable design decisions, but the picture the email in the article paints is of a competent and efficient network engineer.