LOS ANGELES—Doug Dowie, the former general manager of Fleishman-Hillard’s Los Angeles office who was indicted on fraud charges last June, has failed in a motion to have the public relations firm pay his legal fees, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
In October, Dowie also had a request to admit the results of a polygraph test administered by his defense team rejected.
The judge’s decision in January granted Fleishman’s motion to dismiss Dowie’s civil lawsuit demanding the company pay his defense costs. But U.S. District Judge Gary Allen Feess said Dowie could revive his suit if he is acquitted of the charges against him, which include overbilling the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power for more than $300,000 over a four-year period.
Dowie has pleaded not guilty. Fleishman has expressed its regret for any “improper actions” related to the Los Angeles office, pledged full cooperation with prosecutors, and announced a $5.7 million settlement of all civil claims arising from the over-billing incidents.
Dowie’s attorney, Michael J. Faber, told the Daily News he didn’t know the full extent of his client’s legal bills with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, but said the firm’s defense lawyers are continuing to “vigorously” represent him.
The ruling down not affect a wrongful termination suit Dowie has filed against Fleishman, in which he is seeking lost wages from his $370,000-a-year job and other damages, alleging he was made a “scapegoat” for improprieties at the firm. Dowie has also accused the firm of reimbursing employees for political campaign donations.
Former Fleishman-Hillard executive Steve Sugarman pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud in July, admitting his role in overbilling the DWP and agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors against other former company officials, including Dowie and Steve Sugarman, who has also pleaded not guilty to all charges.