I just tried to read closely the Discourse Meta Forum Post “Discussion of various user states in Discourse” (Yes - I could make this a link, but @sketch3d_de already has above, and should get credit for any click throughs!)
Three *states are involved.
Admins can (among other things) “Perform all the actions moderators can perform”.
Moderators “Can perform all actions Staff can perform”
Staff (which is derived from a logical OR of the Admin and Moderator flags in the User Table) can, indeed, split topics, but they can ALSO “Process flags” and “view user info including email address”.
Somehow, I don’t see Trimble giving non-employees access to the email address of Forum participants!
So now I’m leaning towards thinking that granting “Moderator” status (state) to non-Trimble employees shouldn’t be our solution.
Perhaps Trimble could let this community know which of their staff is willing - and able - to review topic split requests.
<Edit a few minutes later>
Looks like @DanRathbun and I were checking out the details and writing about it simultaneously!