Former Fleishman VP testifies that Stodder ordered overbillings

LOS ANGELES: In the second week of the criminal case of former Fleishman-Hillard executives Douglas Dowie and John Stodder, the prosecution today called former Fleishman executive Monique Moret – who was involved in the Water and Power contract – to testify.

LOS ANGELES: In the second week of the criminal case of former Fleishman-Hillard executives Douglas Dowie and John Stodder, the prosecution today called former Fleishman executive Monique Moret – who was involved in the Water and Power contract – to testify.

The former VP of public affairs with Fleishman's LA office, who worked under Stodder, repeated offered during testimony that between December 2002 and August 2003, "We would bump up our billings to meet projections," and that the order to do so came direct from Stodder.

She – and the court – was shown a series of Fleishman billing sheets with hours altered in her own handwriting, as she explained to the court that those altered hours were not legitimate. She is testifying under immunity, a fact that the defense is likely exploit.

Moret, who appeared poised and unflappable, added that Stodder ordered Fleishman LA to pad client billing to placate "St. Louis," meaning Fleishman headquarters, since the LA agency had to meet their projections because they had "made a commitment to St. Louis."

The jury arrived at Los Angeles Superior Court with pillows and boxes of Kleenex, the former a reflection perhaps of tedium, the latter of colds brought on by an unusual spate of cloud-cast skies and rain.

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