You are on page 1of 2


OPS CASE NUMBER: DATE: PERSON INTERVIEWED: INTERVIEWER: Cooley AI2012-001 TIME: 1530 4/13/12 John Dalquest (Whatcom County AS/Information Technology)

I interviewed Dalquest in a conference room in the Information Technology (I.T.) Divisions offices. Perry Rice, Information Technology Manager, was also present. Dalquest declined my request to record the interview. Dalquest told me that in or around September of 2010, he and several other I.T. employees were responsible for migrating Sheriffs Office Panasonic Toughbook computers for use on the countys new Windows Server platform. The other employees were Kim Scott, Chris Wilson, and Carol Ketchum. Dalquest stated that the county had hired contractors to assist with the migration process and one or more of them may have worked on Sheriffs Office Toughbooks as well. This migration also eliminated users ability to install software on or change certain aspects of the configuration of these computers without assistance from I.T. Dalquest indicated that due to the large number of Toughbook computers that had to be migrated, I.T. created a complete image of an 80-gigabyte (GB) hard drive that would overwrite data on each computers hard drive, rather than attempting to copy individual files to each computer. Dalquest said that when the team went to work on the Toughbook assigned to Deputy Paul Murphy, they found that Murphy had enabled a BIOS function that required users to enter a password when the unit was powered on. Dalquest did not recall how this had been resolved but indicated that someone had likely contacted the Sheriffs Office to obtain the password. I later asked Dalquest about what appeared to be a password written under Notes on the Toughbook Migration Data Sheet he provided me prm9236. Dalquest told me that this entry was in his handwriting and that it was likely the BIOS password, as I.T. would not have needed Murphys normal log-on password. When the team went to copy the image to Murphys computer, they discovered that someone had installed a 20-GB hard drive into Murphys computer. Dalquest stated he was not sure whether they discovered this before or during an attempt to copy the new image to Murphys computer. He indicated the drive may have been discovered when the re-imaging process failed as they attempted to place an 80-GB image onto a 20-GB hard drive. Dalquest and Rice both told me that none of the Toughbook computers purchased by the county had originally contained 20-GB hard drives. They stated that some of the early Toughbooks assigned to Field Training Officers (FTOs) had contained 60-GB hard drives but that the bulk of them had 80-GB hard drives. They were both confident that the 20-GB hard drive did not belong to Whatcom County.

Dalquest did not recall who specifically discovered that the 20-GB drive was installed in Murphys computer but provided me with a copy of a migration data sheet that was used when the team went to work on Murphys computer (see attached). He said that more than one persons handwriting was on the form, including his. He indicated he was notified that the 20GB hard drive was found in Murphys computer. He took possession of the 20-GB hard drive and provided the team with an 80-GB hard drive he took from another computer, which he recalled was one that had been used by Deputy Trevor Vander Veen. The team installed this hard drive in Murphys computer. Dalquest kept the 20-GB drive. During our interview, Rice provided me with it, which he stated he had received from Dalquest that day. I observed that there was a note attached to the drive enclosure that read, in part, Murphy 20GB HD which Dalquest told me he had affixed to the drive shortly after he received it. Dalquest told me that I.T. did not track individual hard drives by serial number. [Investigators note: Toughbook hard drives are enclosed in a shock-resistant enclosure. The serial number is not visible when the drive is inside the enclosure.] Dalquest indicated that he did not attempt to make Sheriffs Office personnel aware of the existence of the 20-GB drive. Dalquest told me that at the time of the migration, he did not believe he had even met or spoken with Murphy. I asked Dalquest if he had knowledge of any other unusual circumstances involving Murphy and county-owned computers. He told me that sometime within the past year, he had been asked to look at the Dell laptop assigned to Detective Stephen Roff. When he did so, he discovered that the computers hard drive had been split into two equal-sized partitions, which he indicated was not the norm. He recalled asking Roff why the drive was thus configured. Roff did not know but told Dalquest that the computer had been assigned to Murphy before Roff received it. Dalquest told me he did nothing to re-configure the drive. Dalquest told me that he had never discussed with Murphy the subject of cloning or otherwise duplicating a hard drive on any county-owned computer. Dalquest verified that he had recently been assigned to make changes to deputies Toughbook computers during SECTOR classes and that he was present in the class that Murphy attended on February 7, 2012. He stated he was there from about 1430 to 1600. He said the only contact he had with Murphy that day was when Murphy asked him to install some crime scene mapping software Murphy said he had installed on the computer prior to the migration. Dalquest told me he asked Murphy to make his request again sometime the following week. Dalquest told me that he did not overhear any conversation involving the cloning of computer hard drives while he was at the class. Dalquest told me Murphy called him on February 16, 2012, and asked about data Murphy claimed was missing from the Toughbook assigned to him [Investigators note: This would have been the Toughbook Murphy received on February 14th from Lieutenant Scott Rossmiller]. Dalquest suggested Murphy contact Chief Deputy Arthur Edge and the conversation ended.