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NH's county attorneys failing to provide suspect police officer lists
County attorneys use so-called Laurie lists to guarantee that defendants are notified if a police officer testifying against them has been disciplined for dishonesty or excessive force issues.
"We will remind them of that suggestion in the memo," Rice said.
Velardi said it is paramount to protect the confidentiality of the names on the list, rather than spread the list around.
"They have to call and ask me," Velardi said.
He conceded it would be time consuming for local prosecutors to do so. They deal with a high volume of cases, most of which are misdemeanors, and range from drunken driving to drug and assault cases.
That leaves local prosecutors — many of whom are police — to rely on informal methods of finding out if an officer is on the list. They can ask their local chief; but if an officer from an outside department or agency is involved in a case, finding out about a Laurie issue is even tougher.
"What happens is the only time this issue will come to light is when a defendant finds out that the officer who may have testified against him or her was on that list and (it) was not provided," Moir said.
"That has already happened in the Cody Eller case," Moir said, referring to a road-rage related conviction that was reversed because Eller's lawyer wasn't told a key police witness had a Laurie issue.
"I've never seen a list," O'Connor said.
Velardi said he has 21 officers on the Strafford County Laurie list, some from state agencies that were put on the list in the last year after the Sunday News reported they weren't reporting to all 10 county attorneys as required.
He believes many names on the list result from police chiefs over-reporting issues that shouldn't be considered Laurie issues at all. There are only three of those officers who are still active and who concern him, Velardi said.
Most of the serious integrity matters result in the officer no longer serving as a sworn officer, he said.
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