Two witnesses for the government have appeared in the first full day of testimony in the trial of former Fleishman-Hillard employees Doug Dowie and John Stodder.
Katherine Forrester, SVP at Fleishman employed in IT, authenticated e-mails that have been used in evidence. She verified that the e-mail evidence originated from Fleishman in St Louis, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, San Diego, and San Francisco.
The second witness, Randy Howard, was the former director of corporate communications for the LA Department of Water and Power (DWP), one of the accounts alleged to have been overbilled by Dowie and Stodder.
Howard was intensively interviewed about his role in checking the bills that came in for Fleishman's services. He was presented as the individual ultimately responsible for overseeing the media and PR efforts of DWP during this time.
Howard said that on several occasions he was warned by his staff members and his supervisor that he was "pushing too hard" on the DWP bills to make sure that they were accurate.
He said that he raised the issue with the deputy mayor's office. "Subsequent to that," he said on the stand, "I was reassigned."
During a review of the bills while Howard was on the stand, Dowie's hourly rate was revealed as $425 per hour. Stodder's rate was $315 an hour, while other staff billed between $170-245.
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