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Moore denies charges

Port Orchard City Councilman Tye Moore said Monday he and his wife Elizabeth are victims of a former business partner’s attempts to ruin his political career after they filed complaints last week that led to the Moores being charged with forgery and second-degree theft.

Moore, who is in his first term on council, formed a business partnership with Don and Debra Aldridge in January 2005 to build spec houses under the name Northwest Construction Services.

The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s office joined Port Orchard Police in investigating a complaint from Debra Aldridge alleging the Moores altered invoices and wrote checks to get company money to buy a truck, upgrade their home and run Tye Moore’s election campaign.

Prosecutors filed formal charges last Thursday, but Moore criticized investigators for their handling of the case.

He said he wasn’t aware of the charges until a reporter told him about them, and he questioned why Port Orchard Police were investigating one of their own councilmembers.

“We’re disgusted,” Moore said, adding that police served him with a search warrant for his Flower Meadows home in February. Moore said he and his wife cooperated with authorities, answering questions for more than 45 minutes. Although he hired a lawyer, Moore said he heard nothing further about the investigation until asked about it.

Port Orchard Police Commander Mark Duncan defended the investigation, saying police took the complaint and immediately turned to the county Prosecutor’s office for assistance.

County investigator Richard Kitchen joined Port Orchard Police Detective Beth Deatherage in questioning the Moores. Kitchen filed the documents from which formal charges were made.

“We didn’t drive the investigation,” Duncan said. “A crime was reported to us and it was our responsibility to follow up. Clearly, we were concerned with the issue of fairness. That’s exactly why we had the county co-investigating with us.”

Despite the felony charges, the Moores were not arrested but instead will go to court on June 26.

According to the probable cause statement filed by Kitchen, the Moores and Aldridges agreed to work together in the construction business, with the Aldridges providing financing and Tye Moore providing his experience in construction.

In April 2005, the company secured a loan to build a house at 570 Sroufe Street in Port Orchard. Moore would file all receipts from the construction project.

In May, Moore decided to run for city council and documents show the Aldridges had dinner with Moore to question whether that would interfere with business. He said it wouldn’t.

During that time, Moore was reported to have refinanced his home, bought a truck and began financing his campaign. When Debra Aldridge found a $1,000 payroll check that Moore had written to compensate himself in August 2005, she demanded Moore account for all receipts.

According to the statement, Aldridge found discrepancies in checks and invoices, including some invoices that were faded and where information had been written in. On Feb. 8, a search warrant was issued and Port Orchard Police allegedly found both original and altered copies of the invoices.

However, Moore denies Debra Aldridge’s accusations that multiple discrepancies were found. He said there one was invoice in question — for concrete materials totaling $688 from Fred Hill Materials that were delivered to Moore’s Flower Meadows home instead of the site at 570 Sroufe Street home, as the invoice shows.

Moore said he left the invoice in his truck and the information faded. He later wrote in the address and how it was paid because he believed that was what the document said.

“I was trying to compile everything. It was at the end of my campaign and everything was a convoluted mess,” Moore said. “At the end of this, you’re not going to find a criminal. You’re going to find a guy who was overworked and who had poor bookkeeping.”

Moore said he believes Aldridge had other motivations for trying to hurt him publicly.

Last year, when the Moores and Aldridges sat on the board of the nonprofit House of Hope Community Services with Kitsap County Coroner Greg Sandstrom, Moore claims Debra Aldridge stated her intention to “ruin” Moore publicly.

When contacted, Sandstrom agreed but said he’d only heard about the threat secondhand.

Attempts to contact Debra Aldridge were unsuccessful. Moore said he believes Aldridge was upset about his bid to serve on council.

“It’s more political than anything,” Moore said. “I’m a young politician. I’m in my first term and I’ve got a lot of energy. I’d hate to be rubbed off over something as stupid as this.”

Moore said he also is upset that investigators charged his wife, Elizabeth, after they told him there were no formal plans to implicate her.

The two could face up to six months in jail if convicted.

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