New Guidelines: AG and Sununu announce adjustments to Laurie List rules
LONDONDERRY – The Exculpatory Evidence Schedule, formerly known as the Laurie List, will now include a process for officers to have their names removed from the list, according to new guidelines issued by the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General and Gov. Chris Sununu.
The EES is a list of police officers who have been found to lack credibility, use excessive force, fail to comply with legal procedures or have mental illnesses or instability based on acts or events after the officer entered law enforcement. This information must be disclosed to defense attorneys in cases where an officer on the list was part of the investigation.
This list carries a stigma, Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said at a press conference Monday.
“Once an officer is placed on the list, the interest of individual officers in their reputations and careers is such that there must be some post-placement mechanism available to an officer seeking removal if the grounds are thereafter found to be lacking in substance,” he said.
Additionally, he said, officers will have due process like the rest of the population.
“Only allegations of misconduct which are sustained after an investigation and which constitute EES conduct result in an officer’s name being placed on the EES.”
The next step in the process, said Patrick Cheetham, New Hampshire Police Association president, is to “codify the due process rights” in the Legislature.
Also included in the new guidelines is a piece making it clear that while mental health issues can be considered exculpatory evidence, they can only be released if the issues have led to suspension or other punishment. It will not include a directive for mandatory counseling.
Stephen Arnold, head of the New England Police Benevolent Association said it was a “great day for New Hampshire law enforcement,” claiming the new guidelines were a “correction for a controversial and sometimes harmful (dilemma).”
“The process to weed out the bad and protect the good has been a blurred and controversial endeavor, up to now,” he said, applauding the end of a nearly 14-year-old problem.
Sununu said he was pleased to have “something tangible on the table that resolves this issue.”
Hannah LaClaire can be reached at 594-1243 or firstname.lastname@example.org