Sun-Sentinel  Ft. Lauderdale
Copyright 1998

Thursday, March 5, 1998  

WITNESS FACES CHARGES OF LYING    
OFFICIALS UNCOVER FALSE CREDENTIALS

HENRY FITZGERALD JR. 
Staff Writer

 

   Broward County paid Howard Bruce Ollick $200 an hour for his

knowledge and training on how drugs affect the mind. As an expert

witness, he testified hundreds of times in criminal court on behalf

of defendants.

 

  Jurors, attorneys and judges considered him an expert. On his

resume he listed advanced degrees in organic chemistry. They

listened as he gave his opinions.

 

   But they shouldn't have.  

 

  Wednesday, the Broward State Attorney's Office accused

Ollick, 50, of lying about his credentials and charged him with

three counts of perjury in an official proceeding.

 

  "He's charged in connection with three separate first-degree

murder cases in which he testified as a defense expert at a hearing

or in a deposition," said Al Guttman, a prosecutor in the special

prosecutions unit of the State Attorney's Office.

 

  Ollick testified about his credentials in a hearing in State

vs. Julio Mora, on July 10, 1997; in a deposition in State vs.

Anthony Vinci, on Sept. 10, 1997; and in a deposition in State vs.

Richard Chambliss on Jan. 12, according to a police report.

 

  The three defendants in these cases were convicted.

 

  Still unclear is how Ollick's testimony will affect hundreds

of other cases as defense attorneys may seek to overturn

convictions.

 

  Ollick was booked into the Broward County Jail, where he

remained late Wednesday on $10,500 bail. Each of the charges

carries a 15-year maximum sentence because Ollick testified in

first-degree murder cases, Guttman said.

 

  Ollick, of Weston, claimed on his resume he is a forensic

toxicologist with a doctorate in organic chemistry. In reality, he

is a laboratory technician licensed by the Florida Department of

Health, state records show.

 

  Ollick has been under investigation since January, when

homicide prosecutor Tony Loe did a routine check of Ollick's

credentials. Ollick was listed as an expert witness in Chambliss'

murder case, which Loe was prosecuting.

 

  Loe noticed a discrepancy between two of Ollick's resumes. In

one, Ollick wrote he had a bachelor of science degree from the

school of education at Ohio State University; in the other, it was

a bachelor of arts from the school of business administration at

Ohio State.

 

  Loe also had a copy of Ollick's Florida Atlantic University

master's degree dated 1971. It was signed by, among others, "Lawton

Chiles, Governor." Chiles was a senator in 1971.

 

  Ollick also claimed he had earned a doctorate in organic

chemistry from FAU in 1973, but the university does not offer that

degree. In fact, FAU's registrar found no record of his attending

the university or receiving a degree there.

 

  Ollick did attend Ohio State University's College of

Continuing Education from June 1966 through September 1966, but he

received no degree, according to the registrar's office there.

 

  Ollick's attorney, Robert Ullman, said defense attorneys have

been hiring his client since 1994. He has testified in hundreds of

cases, Ullman said.

 

  "They are prosecuting him on the three most recent capital

murder cases," Ullman said. "Those are the most serious cases

because they are first-degree murders."

 

  Ullman said Ollick is facing prison time, but he plans to ask

for probation if his client is convicted.