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October 15. 2013 8:46PM

Atkinson detective makes claim against Plaistow police department

An Atkinson police detective is taking legal action to have his name pulled from the so-called “Laurie list” after claiming that members of his former employer, the Plaistow Police Department, made false allegations about his conduct and launched a campaign to get rid of him.

Nicolas Fiset filed suit in Rockingham County Superior Court last week asking a judge to order an injunction to withdraw a Laurie letter sent to Rockingham County Attorney James Reams containing what he claims were false “details” of his conduct.

Fiset also wants an injunction requiring Reams to remove his name from the Laurie list.

The list resulted after the state Supreme Court overturned the first-degree murder conviction of Carl Laurie in the 1990s because prosecutors withheld from the defense information contained in the personnel file of a testifying detective that could have raised questions about his truthfulness.

The state attorney general and all 10 county attorneys are now required to keep a Laurie list with the names of officers who have engaged in conduct that could affect their credibility. A judge could order that an officer’s confidential personnel file containing potential “Laurie” material be handed over to the defense.

Fiset’s lawsuit stems from his time working at the Plaistow Police Department under Police Chief Stephen Savage and Deputy Police Chief Kathleen Jones.

In the suit, Fiset said he was a “union shop steward” who often criticized the policies of Savage and Jones and before he was hired, Fiset’s mother, then a Plaistow selectman, “was involved in adjudicating discipline against both defendant Savage and Jones.” The suit also said Fiset had arrested Jones’ stepfather in the past for driving under the influence.

Fiset claims Savage and Jones started a “campaign to discredit, defame, and eventually try to fire” him, the suit said.

“As part of that campaign, the Plaistow defendants manufactured a false claim that plaintiff Nicolas Fiset had falsely reported an automobile stop on June 17, 2011. The Plaistow defendants then conducted a bogus investigation into the incident,” the suit said.

The suit doesn’t provide details of the motor vehicle stop that prompted the investigation.

The suit also claims that Savage and Jones “maliciously” sent a Laurie letter to the county attorney, which Fiset argues unlawfully contained false “details” of his conduct.

“The Plaistow defendants never gave plaintiff Nicolas Fiset an opportunity to contest their fabricated charges nor was plaintiff Nicolas Fiset even notified that a Laurie letter was sent to defendant James Reams,” the suit said.

Fiset alleges the claims made in the Laurie notifications were false and violated memos sent to New Hampshire law enforcement agencies in 2004 by then Attorney General Peter Heed outlining policies on the identification and disclosure of Laurie materials.

Neither Savage nor Jones would comment on the allegations in the lawsuit.

“We, as a town, will vigorously defend ourselves in this claim when the time comes,” Savage said.Reams said he was unaware of the suit and could not comment on personnel files. jschreiber@newstote.com


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