A case being argued in Hillsborough County Superior Court that could lead to the public release of names of police officers with alleged credibility issues could impact several local departments, including Rochester, where at least two incidents occurred in recent years that warranted an officer's inclusion on the list.
The Exculpatory Evidence Schedule, formerly known as the Laurie List, comprises 171 law enforcement officers from local, county and state agencies who have credibility issues that range from dishonesty to sexual harassment to use of excessive force.
Currently ACLU-NH and six state and regional news outlets are arguing the case in Hillsborough Superior Court South to make the names public.
IndepthNH.org publisher Nancy West, who has produced several stories on the issue, said today that the plaintiffs and the state, who is the defendant in the case, are expected to file additional arguments and motions after the two side argued before Judge Charles S. Temple earlier this month.
The crux of the argument boils down to whether the sanctity of personnel records of police officers trumps the public's right to know who among the men and women sworn to uphold the law has abrogated that trust by their questionable actions.
The Rochester Voice found that several incidents that led to officers' inclusion on the Exculpatory Evidence List occurred right here in the Northern Seacoast, including at least two in Rochester, two in Farmington and one each in Wakefield and Dover.
The list as offered up by state officials is heavily redacted, with no names, no dates of incidents and, in many cases, no nature of the wrongdoing.
Both Rochester incidents fail to note the nature of the malfeasance. One shows no date as to when the state was notified of the incident. The other shows the state was notified on Aug. 10, 2017.
Farmington Police also show two incidents, one for "untruthfulness" reported to the state on July 12, 2017, the other on Nov. 18, 2014, which lists no nature of the complaint.
It should be noted that the dates given do not reflect the date of the incident that led to inclusion on the list.
Dover Police and Wakefield Police also showed a single listing, but no details of the incidents.
Rochester Police Chief Paul Toussaint said on Friday he would have no comment on the issue while it was being argued in court.
Several messages left for Farmington Police Chief John Drury for comment were not returned.
Among other state enforcement officers that wound up on the list was one from the Fire Marshal's office, cited for dishonesty on June 6, 2017; and State Police in incidents in 2016 and 2018, for lying and credibility, respectively.
West said that the judge hearing the arguments has said he wants to expedite the case to determine whether the names should be released.
A complete list is shown here.