American Polygraph Association Declines Comment as More Racist Text Messages by Member Daniel Ribacoff Surface

Polygraph operator Daniel Ribacoff on the set of the Steve Wilcos Show, which cut ties with him after racist text messages came to light

Dirty Cops & PIs blog founder and editor Jeffrey Augustine reports on newly discovered racist text messages attributed to disgraced polygraph operator Daniel Ribacoff in an article titled, “Trouble for Polygraph Expert Dan Ribacoff as More Racist Texts Surface.”

Both AntiPolygraph.org and Dirty Cops & PIs previously reported on a different set of racist text messages sent by Ribacoff.

The new racist text messages are associated with Ribacoff’s business’s California telephone number, +13105920027.

One of the newly reported racist text messages associated with Daniel Ribacoff’s California cell phone number (Dirty Cops & PIs blog image)

For his report, Augustine contacted the American Polygraph Association—of which Ribacoff is an associate member—”for comment regarding Ribacoff’s alleged racist text messages and their implications for the polygraph industry.”

American Polygraph Association President Roy Ortiz (APA photo)

In reply, American Polygraph Association president Roy Ortiz “stated that the APA does not comment on matters involving litigation.” It is noteworthy 1) that Augustine’s inquiry was not limited to litigation that Ribacoff faces, 2) that the American Polygraph Association is not a party to that litigation, and 3) that the American Polygraph Association bylaws include no such restriction on commentary.

In 2003, American Polygraph Association president Roy Ortiz, then an APA director and the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department’s polygraph unit, was the subject of specific and credible allegations of corruption.

American Polygraph Association Director Lisa Ribacoff (APA photo)

Augustine also notes that Daniel Ribacoff’s daughter and business associate, Lisa Ribacoff, is a director of the American Polygraph Association:

In the course of our research, we discovered that Dan Ribacoff’s daughter, Lisa Ribacoff, is a current director and board member of the American Polygraph Association. Given the serious implications of the racist messages allegedly sent by the father and CEO of Lisa Ribacoff’s company, and in order to maintain a minimal level of integrity, the APA should require Ms. Ribacoff to recuse herself from participating as a Director of their organization.

Augustine’s article may be read in full here.

LAPD Chief Bratton Says 40% of Disqualified Applicants Eliminated by Polygraph

Los Angeles Chief of Police William J. Bratton this week stated that 40% of LAPD applicants who are disqualified are eliminated because of the polygraph. Bratton spoke on the 17 April 2006 installment of 89.3 KPCC radio’s Patt Morrison show, which features a regular “Ask the Chief” session in which Chief Bratton addresses questions by host Patt Morrison as well as members of the public who call in. One topic addressed was the LAPD’s recruiting difficulties (Hat tip to Kevin Roderick who mentioned this in his LA Observed blog):

Patt Morrison: A propos of recruiting, is there just a different population pool out there than there was maybe when you started policing? Is it because people have tattoos or they’ve had drug experiments? In the 1940s, if you had an overdue library book, Bill Parker would not hire you for the LAPD.

Bill Bratton: No, I think the issue’s different here than East Coast. East Coast, Massachusetts, New York, you cannot use polygraphs as part of your background screening. Here we use polygraphs. That accounts for about 40% of the failures of personnel.

The audio stream is available on-line here. The above exchange begins at about 23 minutes and 10 seconds into the segment.

While the polygraph may account for 40% of total disqualifications, it should also be noted that approximately 50% percent of LAPD applicants who make it as far along in the hiring process as the polygraph are branded as liars and disqualified. But as the National Academy of Sciences recently concluded, polygraph screening is completely invalid. AntiPolygraph.org hears regularly from LAPD applicants who report having been the victim of false positive polygraph outcomes. It is clear that many qualified applicants are being wrongly rejected. LAPD could and should alleviate its recruiting difficulties by scrapping the polygraph. As Chief Bratton noted, it’s not used in his home state of Massachusetts (where it is wisely prohibited by law).

It should also be noted that in 2004, Chief Bratton denied a California Public Records Act request for documentation concerning specific and credible allegations of corruption involving the head of LAPD’s polygraph unit, Mr. Roy Ortiz, who is also a member of the American Polygraph Association’s Board of Directors.

For related reading on the LAPD polygraph program, see George Maschke’s 2001 Los Angeles Daily News op-ed piece, LAPD Polygraphs Don’t Tell Full Truth. A list of the questions asked on the LAPD’s pre-employment polygraph examination is available here.