Woman Who Failed Michigan State Police Polygraph Vindicated

Lisa Hansen, a polygraph false positiveThe Grand Rapids Press and the Detroit Free Press report that Lisa Hansen of Grand Rapids, Michigan, failed a polygraph “test” administered by a Michigan State Police sergeant on 22 December 2005. Hansen, a receptionist at a local Panopoulos Salon, stood accused of stealing some $425 in cash and checks, which she maintained she had placed in a deposit slot at her employer’s bank. The Free Press reports that Hansen’s lawyer, Gerald R. Stahl, “questioned the lie-detector test, saying the polygraph operator badgered her before accusing her of lying.” Hansen told 24 Hour News 8 of Grand Rapids, “I was amazed that I didn’t pass. Completely amazed.”

Following the false positive, Hansen was criminally charged and persuaded by her earlier, court-appointed attorney to plead guilty to a misdemeanor embezzlement charge. A judge rejected the plea and instead ordered her to perform 40 hours of community service.

But now, Hansen has been completely exonerated, and the Michigan State Police’s polygraph operator proven to have been completely wrong: on 9 August 2006, a bank employee found the missing money “stuck in a chute” at the night depository where Hansen maintained all along that she had placed the money.

4 Comments

  1. I really feel sorry fro her and she should file a counter lawsuits against the employer who lied on her and law suits against police dept. As I am a victom of Embezzelment and got falsly arrested by employer and lied to detective and Police Dpt in Raleigh and detective failed to do his job right and beleive employer and followed their instruction how to investigate instead of doing his job right thouroly. I was in a jail for 27 days, from another country no family and relatives and divorced and blackballed by my community and this pakistani man sexually harrassed me, terminated the day i refused to live with his friend and not paid my $700 wages and he filed false charge of embezzelment when I refused to except wrong wages and filed charge against employer for unpaid wages with over time. As I didn’t have enough money and no one to bail me out, no job and relative, my bail was very high for $605/76 false embezzelment which was $5000 and my boyfriend didn’t want to take any risk on me and finally on 09/19/06 I pleady no contest, misdominer all my life and time served. I like to reopen my criminal case and have time limited to that but according to public defender they can rearrest me and put me back to jail for another 6 month and I like to how much it is true as I will be living guilt life my entire life when i have not committed this crime and employer who lied om he will be filing false charge against any one he don’t like or file charge on labor board and i don’t want this criminal to get any more chance to hurt anyone any more and need a good Att.

  2. “I really feel sorry fro her and she should file a counter lawsuits against the employer who lied on her and law suits against police dept.”

    Huh? What are you talking about? Her employee didn’t “lie on her.” The money was stuck in the chute at the bank. Heck, the bank is more at fault than the employee because they didn’t check the night deposit chute more carefully. I had the same thing happen to me once. I made a deposit through the night deposit drop-off, and it never showed. Call the bank a couple of days later to mention the fact, and the employee checked the suit while I was on the phone and found the envelope wedged. I’m sure the employer called the bank to check. They should have looked inside the chute to check if it had gotten stuck. What “lie” did the employer give? The money was missing. She had no way of knowing it was in the deposit box the entire time, especially if the bank told her it wasn’t there. As for the police, the only thing I criticize them for is depending on a polygraph. Horrible things, polygraphs. Hardly ever accurate. They both owe her an apology, but a lawsuit? I don’t think so. It was a mistake with very little consequence (some community service and a fine that will probably be refunded). The humilation was the worst of it, and that would be taken care of by a retraction and public apology. I’m sorry what happened to you, and I hope that you get it sorted out, but not everything is the police’s fault. They’re not perfect, but they’re not mind-readers either. All they have to go on is evidence, and if there’s enough there to paint you as guilty, then mistakes do sometimes happen. I’ve had a couple of similar experiences where I was accused of something I didn’t do. On one occasion it worked out o.k., but in the other situation, I had to pay a rather large fine for something I didn’t do. However, I recognize that the system isn’t perfect and don’t while my confidence is shaken, I harbor no long-term resentment.

  3. @Sandy

    “They both owe her an apology, but a lawsuit? I donโ€™t think so.”

    Our system of justice is based on the the notion that “100 guilty people should go free rather than a single innocent person suffer” When police and prosecutors falsely charge an innocent person the punishment needs to be swift and costly in terms of both money as well as to their personal careers. Your suggestion to the contrary is quite frankly asinine.

    You are obviously not concerned about the value of your reputation but I’m sure Ms. Hansen cares a great deal about her’s, as do most people.

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