The ultimately dropped criminal investigation into a Central Point police lieutenant and founder of a multi-agency computer crime task force began with an altered public document that gave him privileges beyond what was discussed in a public meeting, newly unsealed court documents show.
Joshua Moulin, who left the Southern Oregon High Tech Crimes Task Force he founded in a cloud of suspicion more than six years ago, was originally placed on paid administrative leave in May 2012 because of an investigation into after-the-fact changes to public meeting minutes, the city of Central Point alleges in the documents.
The documents are in response to Moulin’s $2 million lawsuit accusing the city, its police chief and high-tech crimes investigators with malicious prosecution over a since-dismissed criminal investigation that led to Moulin’s resignation from the police department and the task force he founded while on leave.
The city claims that without prior authorization from the Law Enforcement Advisory Board, which oversaw the task force, Moulin changed meeting minutes, and that “as a result of his changes the minutes no longer reflected what had actually been said by the Board in the referenced meeting; that the language inserted into the minutes by plaintiff (Moulin) granted plaintiff authority as it related to the handling of time off requests by task force members to him by the Board,” according to a document filed Oct. 10 in U.S. District Court in Medford by the City of Central Point, and ordered unsealed Oct. 30 by Judge Mark Clarke.
Moulin’s complaint first filed in June 2017 acknowledges a change to meeting minutes, though he and his lawyers have described it as a “mundane, innocent act.”
Moulin and his lawyers have stated previously that he wasn’t told why he was being placed on leave on May 16, 2012. The city claims he was handed a memorandum that day notifying him it was “pending an investigation into issues surrounding his administration and management of the task force, and the withdrawal of the Ashland Police Department from the task force.”
Central Point Police Chief Kris Allison, who since June has been represented by her own lawyer, not the city’s, said that she and the city retained the Salem-based Local Government Personnel Institute to investigate Moulin’s conduct as manager of the task force while he was on leave, according to a document Allison filed Oct. 10 that was unsealed earlier this week.
Allison states that sometime after May 16, 2012, the LPGI suspended the administrative investigation because “new information came to light that was referred to the appropriate authorities.”
It’s unclear whether that “new information” Allison refers to is related to Moulin deleting a personal password program from a seized MacBook, the reason Moulin was charged with felony computer crime in a case that Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Kelly Ravassipour dismissed with prejudice in 2015.
The city and Allison describe tensions related to Moulin’s handling of digital evidence in the unsolved murder of David Michael Grubbs in November 2011, which led to Ashland pulling out of the high tech crimes task force and prompted scrutiny from at least two partner agencies.
In 2012, Ashland police reportedly asked the task force to expedite inspecting a laptop in the Grubbs case. The city of Central Point claims that Moulin was “inaccurate or perhaps misleading” in his estimates for handling Ashland’s evidence, and the “City of Ashland had the work done at a lab in Austin, Texas, much quicker than plaintiff had represented it would take to do the work.”
Ashland formally withdrew from the task force in April 2012.
Medford police expressed concerns about Moulin’s leadership of the task force, and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office told Central Point that if Moulin “continued in the task force, they would likely suspend their participation in it.”
Moulin has stated he faced internal pressure from Allison to prioritize compiling evidence in a Central Point murder case that broke in March 2012. Bourne Paraday Huddleston and his sister, Genetta Huddleston-Coradetti of Florida, have been convicted for their roles in the shooting death of Huddleston’s wife, Kristy.
A two-week trial in Moulin’s malicious prosecution case is currently set to begin March 9 in U.S. District Court in Medford.