Judge Asked to Allow Polygraph
A lawyer for Douglas R. Dowie, the former public relations executive accused of bilking the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power out of thousands of dollars in a bill-padding scheme, sought permission Thursday to introduce the results of a privately administered polygraph test at his client’s upcoming trial.
U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess set a Sept. 26 hearing to consider the motion by Dowie’s defense lawyer, Tom Holliday.
Although judges have disagreed about the admissibility of polygraph evidence, Holliday said he hoped to convince Feess that Dowie’s test results were relevant and reliable. They show that Dowie was telling the truth when he denied any wrongdoing, the lawyer said.
The U.S. attorney’s office said prosecutors were studying the motion and would file a response before the hearing.
Dowie, who once headed the Los Angeles office of public relations giant Fleishman-Hillard, is scheduled to go on trial in November on charges of ordering his staff to fabricate more than $325,000 in billings submitted to the DWP.
Also facing trial is Dowie’s former No. 2, John Stodder Jr. Both men have pleaded not guilty. Another executive who worked under Dowie, Steve Sugerman, has pleaded guilty to fraud charges and is expected to testify against his former boss.