New Hampshire Dirty Cop List Made Public

By Malcolm Speaks

A recent court ruling threatens to release a list of poice officers who lack credibility.

A recent court ruling threatens to release a list of New Hampshire police officers who have  credibility issues.

A superior court judge issued an order last Tuesday for the release of the names of approximately 250 New Hampshire law enforcement officers who may have credibility issues.

The New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism, along with several newspapers and the ACLU of New Hampshire, all sued the New Hampshire Department of Justice in order for it to release the infamous “Laurie List” under the state’s Right to Know law.

The Department of Justice argued that this list, which is also known as the “Exculpatory Evidence Schedule,” or EES, is confidential because it contains personnel-related information, which is generally shielded from disclosure.

In his ruling, Judge Charles Temple wrote that since there is no “employee-employer relationship” between the officers who work for local police departments, and the DOJ, the records could not be considered personnel-related. Therefore, the EES “is not a personnel file within the meaning of the statute,” according to Judge Temple.

The state has retained such a list since 1995 in order to notify defendants in criminal cases when an officer with possible credibility issues is involved, as required by law.

However, during oral arguments in the case last October, New Hampshire Solicitor General Dan Will, argued that “per legislative directive, this is strictly confidential stuff.”

But the court cited a previous ruling that the state’s Right to Know law is meant to ensure “the greatest possible public access” to information and thus, sided with the petitioners.

“When you keep information like this secret, it creates distrust and suspicion,” stated Gilles Bissonnette of the New Hampshire ACLU. “It’s bad for the public, it’s bad for police. It is really critical that we don’t undermine faith and confidence in law enforcement, but that’s what secrecy does.”

The Attorney General’s office could appeal the decision in the state Supreme Court. However, the Solicitor General, in a statement said, “the Court did not order the immediate production of an unredacted EES. The Court’s order is not a final order in the case and, therefore, is not subject to immediate appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.”

Nevertheless, in a statement, Nancy West of the N.H. Center for Public Interest Journalism, said, “I hope this means we will be able to publish the full unredacted Laurie List right away.”

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