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Condit not deceptive, lawyer says

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WASHINGTON — The attorney for Rep. Gary Condit said Friday that the California Democrat passed an independent lie detector test showing he was "not deceptive in any way" in denying involvement in the disappearance of intern Chandra Levy.

But District of Columbia police quickly dismissed the test as "self-serving."

Condit attorney Abbe Lowell said a private polygraph examiner concluded that the congressman was not being untruthful in any of his answers.

"There was absolutely no deception in any way," Lowell said. "Congressman

Condit has exhausted the information he can provide and the spotlight on him should be turned elsewhere."

Lowell said the private test was administered by Barry Colvert, a retired FBI agent who Lowell said has given over 3,000 lie detector tests in his career. Lowell said Condit was asked whether he had anything to do with Levy's disappearance, whether he harmed her, whether he asked anyone else to harm her or whether he knew where she is now.

Lowell said the polygraph results and data were being sent to the FBI and local police.

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D.C. Assistant Police Chief Terrance Gainer expressed dismay about the way the test was handled and called Lowell's report of the test "a bit self-serving." Gainer said there is no way the examiner could know the information police have or what questions they want to ask Condit.

"The technology, the subjective and the objective things that go into a polygraph aren't answered by his having a press conference, " Gainer said. "I am happy that he said he's going to give that to the Metropolitan police and the FBI and we'll examine that and we'll have to see what that's worth, but again that is not normal technique."

Condit has been a major focus of attention since news reports that he had an affair with the 24-year-old Levy.

Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., said Friday that he has asked the House Committee on Official Conduct to initiate an ethics inquiry into whether Condit has obstructed justice in the police inquiry. Barr has already called on Condit to resign.

Police have said repeatedly that Condit is not a suspect in the investigation.

Gainer said the police and Lowell had been negotiating the limits of a test since Tuesday. Police had been pressing for no restrictions on questions related to the disappearance of Levy, while Lowell wanted limitations.

However, Gainer said Lowell arranged the private test for Condit without consulting police. Gainer said Lowell had not worked with police to come up with questions and there had been no agreement on an expert to administer the test.

Lowell dismissed the possibility of Condit taking another test if asked by police.

Lowell said Colvert is a polygraph expert who teaches FBI agents how to administer the tests.

Last Monday, Condit volunteered his full support in the Levy investigation. Lowell asserted that the 53-year-old lawmaker has now fulfilled promises to take a lie detector test, submit a DNA sample, and have his condominium searched.

"The congressman has done everything he said he would do while taking care of his constituents . . . and he has done it under the enormous pressure of nonstop media coverage," Lowell said.

The announcement of the test came as local police continued to search vacant buildings near the apartments of Levy and Condit for clues into her disappearance. The two lived about a dozen blocks apart. Levy was last seen April 30.

Also on Friday, police released sketches of Levy with different hair styles on the increasingly remote chance that she is still alive.

Police are considering four scenarios in Levy's disappearance:

she was a victim of foul play;

she committed suicide;

she walked away voluntarily, or;

she is wandering around not knowing who she is.