Fleishman, Dowie sever ties in wake of DWP billing controversy

LOS ANGELES: Doug Dowie, general manager of Fleishman-Hillard's office in Los Angeles and the figure at the center of the overbillings controversy, is no longer with the agency as of last Wednesday.

LOS ANGELES: Doug Dowie, general manager of Fleishman-Hillard's office in Los Angeles and the figure at the center of the overbillings controversy, is no longer with the agency as of last Wednesday.

Two other executives who managed the account with the LA Department of Water and Power (DWP) - for which the firm has been accused of overbillings amounting to $4.2 million - are also out.

The other two executives were former SVP Steve Getzug and former SVP John Stodder. Fleishman regional president Richard Kline said there are no senior executives remaining at the firm who had direct oversight on the DWP account. Dowie served as the senior counselor on the account from 1998 to 2004.

Kline would not comment on whether the three executives were fired or not, saying only: "We are making no accusations. No individuals have been accused of wrongdoing by legal authorities."

"We are very disappointed in Fleishman, but Doug will get on with his life," said Dowie's attorney Tom Holliday. "Doug has maintained publicly, privately, and every way possible that he did nothing wrong, and we stand by that."

Reached via e-mail, Getzug wrote: "I gave Fleishman-Hillard notice on Tuesday alerting them that I was leaving the agency to pursue a new opportunity, something that I am very excited about. I really cannot comment beyond that at this point in time."

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