U.S. witness from the FTC says Bob Brockman answered tough questions in 2019 deposition

HOUSTON — An attorney with the Federal Trade Commission testified Thursday that former Reynolds and Reynolds Co. CEO Bob Brockman was able to recall facts and explain technical details during a 2019 deposition related to an antitrust investigation.

Dana Abrahamsen, who testified as a government witness in a hearing to determine whether Brockman is competent to stand trial on federal tax evasion charges, called Brockman “a good witness” who provided satisfactory answers to questions about potential collusion regarding access to dealership management system data between privately held Reynolds and rival DMS giant CDK Global Inc.

Brockman did not disclose he had dementia or cognitive impairment during the two-day deposition, known as an investigational hearing, in September 2019, Abrahamsen testified. He said Brockman was able to recall details about events and conversations dating back years, without the need for prompting.

“He had good command of the facts,” Abrahamsen testified.

Brockman was present for Thursday’s hearing — and has attended all of this week’s proceedings.

Under cross-examination by Brockman’s lawyers, Abrahamsen testified that he has not seen or communicated directly with Brockman since that 2019 deposition and that he had no firsthand knowledge of Brockman’s current physical and cognitive conditions.

Court filings in the case have disclosed that Brockman sought evaluations from doctors in 2019, who diagnosed him with symptoms consistent with Parkinson’s disease or dementia. Prosecutors contend that “the depositions in which the Defendant displayed a very high level of competence were within weeks of the medical evaluations in which he convinced the examining doctors that he was legally ‘incompetent,’” according to a court filing last week.

Brockman’s lawyers on Wednesday questioned one of their medical experts, who noted that Brockman’s presentation during a separate deposition in a federal multidistrict litigation case that same year is consistent with the possible existence of dementia because “highly learned information can be quite preserved, even in the settings of dementia, so when people are speaking about things which were a core part of their life, they can seemingly look normal.”

Abrahamsen said Thursday in response to questioning that the FTC’s investigation remains open.