Greensboro City Council Votes to Polygraph Itself

Greensboro, North Carolina News Record staff writer Eric Swensen reports in a 19 April article titled, “Council Says Yes to Polygraphs” that with a lone dissenting vote, the Greensboro City Council has voted to voluntary subject itself to lie detector testing in an effort to determine who amongst them leaked a police report to the News Record. Excerpt:

GREENSBORO — The City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday night to ask itself to voluntarily take lie-detector tests on whether a council member leaked an investigative report on former police Chief David Wray to the News & Record.

Dianne Bellamy-Small cast the lone no vote. Bellamy-Small said she didn’t appreciate having her integrity questioned and is offended that people may think she was involved in leaking the report.

“It’s divisive,” she said.

If the council is focused on infighting, she said, “we’re not going to get the focus on cleaning up the Greensboro Police Department.”

She declined to comment further after the meeting.

Sandy Carmany, who has been the most outspoken critic of the leak among council members, said her decision to volunteer for a lie-detector test isn’t meant to point fingers at other council members, “but to confirm my own integrity.” Carmany said in March that “we’re 95 percent sure” that a council member leaked the report to the newspaper.

Tom Phillips, who entered the motion to conduct the tests, said the uncertainty over who leaked the report “has really strained the ability of the (city) manager to work with council dealing with sensitive information.”

Yvonne Johnson echoed that notion.

“It’s important that the manager be able to trust the council,” she said.
But Mayor Keith Holliday and other council members said the request for lie-detector tests came from council members, not from City Manager Mitchell Johnson.

Each lie-detector test will cost about $500. Councilman Mike Barber suggested the cost of the tests be taken from council members’ travel budgets; no other council members objected.

Kudos to Greensboro Councilwoman Dianne Bellamy-Small for being a lone voice of reason on a ship of fools. The Greensboro News-Record editorial staff skewers the City Council for its polygraph vote in today’s editorial, aptly titled “Exercise in Incredulity.”’s George Maschke has sent the following e-mail to the entire Greensboro City Council:

The Greensboro News-Record reports that the City Council has voted to subject itself to lie detector testing regarding the leak of a police document.

I’m a co-founder of, a non-profit, public interest website dedicated to exposing and ending waste, fraud, and abuse associated with the use of lie detectors. As you have foolishly decided to subject yourselves to this procedure, you should be aware that there is consensus amongst scientists that polygraph “testing” has no scientific basis:

You should also be aware that polygraphy has an inherent bias against the truthful, and yet the “test” can be easily passed by liars employing simple countermeasures that polygraph examiners cannot detect. You’ll find polygraph procedure and countermeasures explained in’s free e-book, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, which may be downloaded here:

I would be happy to address any questions you may have in this regard.


George W. Maschke

PS:A copy of this e-mail will be forwarded to the News-Record.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *