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Phoenix Police expert: Polygraph test Bundgaard took was inconclusive

Victor Bell, the Phoenix Police Department polygraph examiner, discusses the polygraph test Sen. Scott Bundgaard took in March of 2011. (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

A polygraph examiner from the Phoenix Police Department told a committee investigating an ethics complaint against Sen. Scott Bundgaard that a polygraph test the senator took could not conclusively show whether he was the telling the truth.

What’s problematic is the test itself, the expert said.

Victor Bell, who supervises the police department’s polygraph unit, said he wouldn’t have posed one of the questions to Bundgaard because it dealt with intent and not his actions.

In March 2011, Bundgaard commissioned a polygraph test that he said supported his claims that he did not physically assault his then-girlfriend in a February fight.

The polygraph question to Bundgaard was this: Did you touch Aubry with the intent to physically harm or the evening of Feb. 25, 2011?

Bundgaard answered, “No.”

“Question No. 1 would be something that I would not ask, nor would my group ask,” Bell said. “We don’t test intent.”

Instead, Bell said he would have asked Bundgaard if he hit, punched, bit, kicked, or struck Ballard.

In his years as a polygraph examiner, Bell said he has never asked a question about a subject’s intent.

He also dissected each question that was posed to Bundgaard, and said the senator’s scores were too low to conclusively say whether he was being truthful.

When asked what his overall thoughts of the test are, Bell replied that it is inconclusive.

“My opinion of this whole examination is ‘no opinion,’” he said.

When Bundgaard’s attorney asked him if he could testify with a reasonable degree of scientific certainty that Bundgaard answered the questions untruthfully, Bell said he couldn’t.

During the polygraph, Bundgaard was also asked if he had asserted his legislative immunity to avoid arrest and told the police that his girlfriend, Aubry Ballard, had grabbed a handgun he keeps in his car during the fight.

Bundgaard answered that he did not invoke his immunity and that he had told police about the handgun. However, police reports of the incident contradicted Bundgaard’s answers.

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