Sheriff’s Deputy Indicted for Falsifying Timesheets Starts Polygraph Business

Withrow "Herb" Wiggins, Jr. (Twitter portrait)
Withrow “Herb” Wiggins, Jr.
(Twitter portrait)

Jacob Pucci reports for Syracuse.com:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — An Onondaga County sheriff’s deputy charged with falsifying timesheets is opening a polygraph exam business in downtown Syracuse.

Withro “Herb” Wiggins Jr. began doing business as CNY Polygraph on Jan. 23. The business is located at 499 S. Warren St., across the street from the Galleries of Syracuse building.

Reached by phone, Wiggins declined comment under advice of legal counsel.

Wiggins is offering a range of exams, from those preparing for a polygraph for future employment or criminal accusatory reasons, to “just for fun” exams for people to learn about the process. Exams start at $99.

Wiggins, along with deputies Crayg Dykes and George Buckton, were charged with falsifying Centro timesheets for bus security work they didn’t perform. The indictment accuses Dykes of receiving $1,732.50, Wiggins of $1,347.50 and Buckton of $770 as a result of the fraudulent timesheets.

All three remain with the sheriff’s office, but now serve in a paid administrative duty, Sheriff Gene Conway said in an email.

In a Twitter post dated 28 April 2014, Wiggins mentioned that he would be teaching for a week at the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center Polygraph Institute.

 

Indiana State Police Video Discourages Applicants from Researching Polygraphs

earnest-pageThe Indiana State Police have produced a video that discourages applicants from educating themselves about polygraphy. The video quotes new recruit Earnest Page stating:

You learn that you do not believe that everything is [sic] posted on the Internet, so the best thing for me is to keep my mind free because when you think of that stuff, that can cloud your mind and also, you know, can alter your test scores, so I just stayed away from anything like that.

Grammar issues aside, the intended point is that applicants should be leery of information about polygraphy that is available “on the Internet” (as if the Internet were a monolithic source of information about polygraphy, all of which is wrong).

But a polygraph community presentation on countermeasures describes the information provided by AntiPolygraph.org as “accurate,” and polygraph operator Louis I. Rovner, Ph.D., testified in court that “He [AntiPolygraph.org co-founder George W. Maschke] has provided a sophisticated and accurate account of what goes on in a polygraph test, essentially what I did in my research, but his is so thorough and complete it’s just breathtaking how good and accurate the information is.”

paul-hansard

The video also quotes Indiana State Police polygraph examiner Sgt. Paul Hansard saying:

That would be one of the important things, is to make sure that they don’t look up or research anything on polygraph as well.

Why would it be “one of the important things” to make sure that an applicant hasn’t done their homework on polygraphy? And what does Hansard propose to do with honest applicants who admit to having researched polygraphy? The video doesn’t say.

To drive home the point that applicants shouldn’t educate themselves about polygraphy, the video cites probationary trooper Earnest Page once more (emphasis added):

I would just come early, get a good night’s rest before, clear your mind, stay away from the things on the Internet, be willing to answer all questions, don’t be afraid to ask questions, or to explain your answers. So after that I think you’ll be fine.

When an amplified voice tells you to pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, perhaps you should investigate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcbbGgRVUKc

NPR on Upcoming Trial of Polygraph Critic Doug Williams

On Friday, 2 January 2015, National Public Radio aired a report by Martin Kaste on the upcoming trial of polygraph critic Doug Williams, who was targeted in a February 2014 sting operation led by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection polygraph unit. While the NPR report is titled, “Trial of Polygraph Critic Renews Debate Over Tests’ Accuracy,” there is broad consensus among scientists that polygraphy is pseudoscience. Professor Stephen Fienberg, who headed the National Research Council’s Committee to Review the Scientific Evidence on the Polygraph, who was interviewed for this report, has it quite right when he states, “My personal conclusion is that [the polygraph] has no place in government’s dealings with its citizens.”

Comments on Kaste’s report posted to the NPR website are running heavily against the government’s prosecution of Williams and its reliance on polygraphy.