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Renton police sergeant demoted for creating parody of department; read the documents
An internal investigation by the Renton Police Department has determined that a sergeant earlier this year created and posted a cartoon parody critical of the department.
Sgt. Bill Judd, who was hired in 1998 and promoted to sergeant in 2008, was demoted last week to officer for creating and then posting the video to the Internet. In July Deputy Chief Charles Marsalisi was demoted to sergeant for not disclosing during an internal investigation who created and posted the video.
The discipline comes after weeks of an internal investigation by the Police Department.
The video is one of nine the Renton Police Department released earlier this month as part of its investigation of eight similar cartoon parodies that were posted in mid-April. The video is called "SCORE Parody," which has an officer talking to a jailer wearing a clown face.
The results of the internal investigation were presented to Judd on Aug. 11 by Renton Police Chief Kevin Milosevich. The Police Department released the documents on Monday.
The investigation found that in mid-December 2010 Judd created a cartoon-style video of nearly nine minutes hat depicts interactions between jail staff and patrol officers. The investigation found that he created the video as a "spoof." It also found that Judd "obtained a pre-paid credit card, created an anonymous email account, posted this information from a local anonymous "IP" address all while knowing that [his] conduct was unbecoming an officer," disciplinary documents stated.
Marsalisi was demoted from deputy police chief to sergeant in July as part of the Police Department’s investigation of the circumstances surrounding the jail parody. Milosevich said in an earlier interview with the Renton Reporter that Marsalisi didn't create the video, but he withheld information about who did.
The same technology was used to create all nine videos, Milosevich said. Marsalisi, who was deputy chief over patrol operations and patrol services, was temporarily assigned to investigations. The acting deputy chief is Kent Curry. Marsalisi joined the Police Department in February 1993 as an officer.
The release of the internal documents comes after an announcement late last week by the city officials that the Police Department will continue its investigation internally of who created the eight animated cartoons critical of the department but not as criminal cyberstalking.
The City of Renton also withdrew a search warrant to seek information from a division of Google Inc. about the identity of Mrfuddlesticks, the user name of the person who posted the videos in April.
"There has been no relevant information that we have uncovered to date on the cyberstalking case to further a criminal investigation," Jay Covington, the city's chief administrative officer, said in a prepared statement, using the search warrant.
But city attorney Larry Warren, sitting next to Covington in a City Hall conference room, reaffirmed his belief that a crime did occur – cyberstalking; investigators just weren't able to gather the evidence to prove it.
(Renton Reporter Editor Dean A. Radford contributed to this report.)