Sergeant Bill Judd creates the first video through an online site called Xtranormal.com and shares it—using the handle "Unicorn Movies"—with several others in the Renton Police Department, including Deputy Chief Chuck Marsalisi. Judd accidentally sent a copy to his work email.
On Jan. 3, a version of the first police parody video, created by Judd, is posted online and becomes the buzz within the police department. According to Marsalisi, he was unaware of Judd's intention to post the parody. When he learns what had happened, Marsalisi immediately sends Judd a text message telling him to remove the video.
Judd removes the video; however, the damage has been done. Someone with the online handle "Emperor Naked" makes a copy of the cartoon during the short time it was available on Xtranormal.com, and then posts it to video-sharing site YouTube.
Neither Judd nor Marsalisi tells the police chief or others in the department about their involvement in the video, despite department meetings where the parody was the center of discussion.
Sgt. Tim Troxel faxes "Google Preservation Request," and "YouTube Records" to Google in an effort to uncover the identity of the parody cartoonist. (p. 21, pdf4). A Google representative replies that the city must get a subpoena or warrant for Google to release the records.
The department begins interviews late in the month, more than a week after a new set of parody videos is released on April 17 or 18.
Just before the first interview, scheduled for April 29, Marsalisi sends a letter to Chief Kevin Milosevich, requesting the investigation be handled by an outside agency (p. 13, pdf4).
•April 29—Judd is accused in internal affairs interview of "unbecoming conduct, courtesy, unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation."
•Judd admits to creating a cartoon-style video and titled it "A Penny Tale." He said he created the video as "a spoof," and that Marsalisi and two others in the department knew about the cartoon, and he asked all three to keep it a secret, "So people wouldn't find out who created the video."
•Judd did not use a city computer to email the video to other employees, but in the process, accidentally cc'd it to his city email address with an anonymous email address from the host "Unicorn Movies." (p. 28, Internal Summary)
•Marsalisi tells Judd via text message to pull the video, which Judd says he did; however, the video had already been sent to other people and this is where the "inside joke" may have gotten its legs. Judd says he never put it on YouTube, but apparently another person by the handle "Emperor Naked" did. No one seems to know the identity of "Emperor Naked."
•When asked what the impact of the original video was on the department, Judd says, "I think it resonated with, uh, with a lot of people. It created a buzz."
•Judd does not come forward about his involvement in the video at a monthly staff meeting where it was discussed, although he maintains that he "would be forthright about it," if he had been asked outright if he'd made the videos. (p. 33 Internal.summary)
•Questioning turns to the new set of videos, where Judd denies knowledge of who created the new set of videos posted in mid-April, and says he does not know the identity of Mr. Fuddlesticks. (p. 35, Internal summary)
•Judd's commentary on the new videos: “I didn't have anything to do with them. Um, I looked at them. I started to look at 'em. I got through one of them. Um, I didn't like it. I didn't think it was funny. I thought it was way over the top and inappropriate.”
•April 29—Marsalisi is accused in internal affairs interview of "unbecoming conduct, courtesy, unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation."
•Marsalisi doesn’t have Guild representation at his “accused officer admonition” interview because deputy chiefs are not part of the Guild.
•He speaks about how Judd had told him he was "putting an epic video together" sometime in December or January.
•Marsalisi says the “first video” isn't the true original; instead it's a refined copy of a working first version that Judd send to officers’ personal computers sometime in December. "The video that was actually released that everybody has seen is not the original video."
•Marsalisi says he remembers that Judd didn't want the video traced back to him: "I remember making the comment, ‘hell, you can go to the library like everybody else does when they want to keep things secret.’ … I didn't come forward thinking it will all blow over you know, not that I'm trying to protect Bill or me, but it'll blow over. … Since there was no investigation, I didn't come forward, and I would assume that's why (the others) didn't come forward when it came out," Marsalisi explains.
"I'm taking responsibility for not stepping in and stopping Bill. Uh, I, I saw the humor in it and a little bit of my personal frustration probably played in my decision or my lack of good decision, let's put it that way."
"I'd still like to believe that nobody I'd work with would have posted those last ones," Marsalisi says of the subsequent videos, although he says that it likely hurt some people's feelings.
Marsalisi says the video provided more “stress relief” than any other adverse effect to the department as a whole. (p. 68, Internal.Summary).
•During his interview, Marsalisi points to another man in the department as a possible second video creator, saying that the officer is "obsessive," and "has some mental issues," adding, "I don't feel great accusing him ‘cause it's my opinion … and I know that that's not an opinion that is held only by me."
•On pages 71-72 of the investigation summary, Marsalisi accuses Chief Milosevich of covering up lies within the department, and for not acting on a signed complaint over a department official's untruthfulness.
"I'm tired of being the bitch," Marsalisi says, adding that he has a confidence issue with the chief.
Toward the end of the interview, Marsalisi says he apologized for not being more proactive because the first video "planted the seed" for someone to do the next videos.
May 8—An unnamed sergeant is accused in an internal affairs interview of "unbecoming conduct, courtesy, unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation."
May 11--Chief asks an unnamed South Correctional Entity jail facility (SCORE) employee to write a memo about the negative effects of the parody video on SCORE or the old jail (p. 19, pdf4). The subsequent memo can be found on pp.31-33, pdf1).
June 1—Mayor Denis Law distributes a memo to members of the City Council about the investigation and pending disciplinary action.
"It's my hope that these actions don't become public since it will further hurt the members of our department." (Read the full memo on p. 57, pdf4)
June 16—Disciplinary review board meets.
•Marsalisi says (p. 5, pdf5): "You can tell by my testimony during the interview that expressed that I was greatly frustrated with what I perceived was inaction in dealing with this serious matter. … One thing that it did not have in the Internal statement is that the Chief later admitted to me, that he let me down on not doing something about the complaint that's referenced in there, that I, that I made. … A combination of that and other issues going on in Command staff had me temporarily in a non-caring state," he says of his mindset when he first viewed the original cartoon.
"I encourage each of you to study the video and see what it actually says. Other than that, other people have christened it as being derogatory to SCORE, which I believe it's not truly, if you watch and listen carefully I believe you will see the video was a parody of issues and frustrations with the then-defunct, non-existent Renton jail. The references to SCORE are actually positive, indicating a positive change it had with new organization (sic)." He adds that the original video did not have “SCORE” in the title.
July 28—City files an affidavit for search warrant in an effort to uncover the identity of "Mr. Fuddlesticks."
Nov. 1-2—Appeal Hearing at City Hall for Chuck Marsalisi.