Rochester Police chief: What's not on Laurie's List is misleading the public

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Rochester Police Chief Toussaint says local residents should rest assured knowing that Rochester Police do all they can to ferret out officers who aren't suited for the job. (Rochester Voice file photo)

ROCHESTER - About a week after the state's Dept. of Justice released an updated list of New Hampshire cops with credibility problems, Rochester's Top Cop said the list is misleading the public for what it's "not" saying.

"This list is misleading," Rochester Police Chief Paul Toussaint said on Wednesday. "The flaw in the list is it doesn't take account how many of these people are still working on those departments."

The new Exculpatory Evidence List, formerly known as the Laurie's List, was released earlier this month with a total of 274 entries. The redacted list shows no names, and in some cases, no dates or underlying issue as to why they were included.

The EEL began as an attempt by the state to ensure defense lawyers are given information on police officers found to have credibility issues in cases in which they are involved as investigators or potential witnesses.

Some news outlets have sued the government, seeking to force the release of the names of those listed.

Toussaint says local residents should rest assured knowing that Rochester Police do all they can to ferret out officers who aren't suited for the job, adding that of the four Rochester officers on the list, only one remains with the department and his seven-year battle to be removed from the list has been widely reported.

Patrol Officer John Gantert, who joined the force in 2005, was found by Rochester Police to have mishandled the filling out of a police-ordered form on a domestic violence suspect in March 2011.

He has vigorously argued all the way to the state Supreme Court that his due process was violated. He was initially fired by Rochester Police but later regained his job after an administrative hearing by the state's Public Employee Relations Board.

The other three Rochester officers named no longer work for the department, Toussaint said.

"I can't tell you where they are, but they no longer work in law enforcement," he added.

Even if some on the list had died, that would not be noted, he said.

Other area officers on the list include three from Farmington PD, one on Sept. 14, 2018, for truthfulness and excessive force, one on Sept. 5, 2018, for truthfulness and another on July 12, 2017, for excessive force; one from Milton on Sept. 5, 2018, no cause given; and two from Dover, one undated, no cause; and the other March 3 and March 29, 2019, no cause.

In the final analysis, Toussaint doesn't believe the names should be released, adding "it's a personnel matter" and the public needs to have a little trust that the department can police itself.

A copy of the updated EEL list can be found here

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