Timeline of Gold Hill's police troubles

Police Chief Dean Muchow has been dogged by allegations of criminal and civil misconduct in both Gold Hill and Union (his former place of employment) during his 30-month tenure in the Rogue Valley.

  • September 2004 — Muchow is indicted by the district attorney in Union County on misdemeanor charges, including official misconduct and theft, after resigning as chief of police in Union. Muchow was found not guilty in a short jury trial.
  • July 2005 — Muchow's city credit card is temporarily rescinded after Gold Hill council members questioned purchases of gift cards and restaurant charges during the building of the new police station. He later offered to repay more than $800 in charges. The majority of the council voted he did not have to repay the money.
  • October 2005 — A 500 percent increase in traffic citations causes Gold Hill Municipal Court Judge Don Leahan to question whether the city is trying to fund the police department on the backs of motorists. He dismisses many of the tickets outright. Muchow tries to transfer the citations from Leahan's court but is told by the City Council to keep them in Gold Hill.
  • January 2006 — Union County district attorney again files criminal charges against Muchow, this time for alleged theft of metal steps from an old mill site that were later found attached to property owned by Muchow. The case was dropped after the district attorney's attempts to have Muchow indicted by a grand jury and get warrants from two judges failed.
  • August 2006 — Muchow defends himself against allegations of unethical and unlawful conduct before the Department of Government Standards and Practices. The agency reviews allegations that Muchow received free meals from local restaurants as well as other complaints alleging the public official used his position for personal benefit. The panel deadlocked in a 3-to-3 vote after hearing a litany of complaints from Gold Hill resident Christine Alford, which included allegations of "bugging" city facilities, misappropriation of city funds and perjury. The matter died a statutory death, according to DGSP Interim Director Don Crabtree.
  • October 2006 — Muchow is placed on paid administrative leave while auditors and other agencies investigate allegations of fraud, harassment against Alford and other claims made against the chief. The city's auditors quit.
  • January 2007 — Muchow is placed back on duty after three new council members and a new mayor are sworn in.

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