FILE - New Hampshire Department of Justice

The New Hampshire Department of Justice building on Friday, Dec. 2, 2005 in Concord, N.H. 

(The Center Square) – The New Hampshire attorney general's office has released portions of a secret list of police officers who've been accused of wrongdoing to comply with a new state law.

The new lawsigned by Gov. Chris Sununu last year, requires the attorney general’s office to make the list of officers with complaints and misconduct records subject to the state’s Right to Know law, allowing the public to see their names and alleged misconduct.

The first batch of information released by Attorney General John Formella's office under the new law includes the names of about 75 police officers who have been accused of misconduct since 1995, ranging from a lack of truthfulness to use of excessive force and falsifying evidence. 

The list contains another 200 names of police officers who have been subject to disciplinary actions that have yet to be released. 

Officers on the so-called "Laurie" list are given up to 180 days to appeal their status to a state court before the information is released. Those accused of misconduct before 2018 have 90 days to appeal. 

"Laurie" lists are known officially as “exculpatory evidence schedules" and were created by state prosecutors years ago to track police officers whose previous incidents could make them a liability if they were to testify on the stand in criminal cases.

They were named after the 1995 New Hampshire Supreme Court case involving Carl Laurie, whose homicide conviction was overturned because he wasn’t notified that the lead police officer in his investigation had credibility issues.

For years, the issue of disclosing the names of the officers accused of misconduct has been playing out in the courts, where police unions and other opponents of releasing it would be an invasion of privacy.

News outlets have obtained copies of the list through public records requests, but the information has been heavily redacted.  

Last year, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that the list is not a confidential document, and not exempt from the state’s Right to Know law.

But the justices ordered a lower court to perform a "balancing test" to determine if releasing the list would violate the privacy rights of police officers.

The new law was backed by police unions and mirrors a recommendation by the Law Enforcement Accountability, Community, and Transparency Commission, which was created by Sununu in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. 

In 2020, Sununu issued an executive order requiring body cameras for state police and regular training for officers on bias, racial profiling and de-escalation tactics.

Advocates say the policing reforms are needed to eliminate bias among law enforcement officers in New Hampshire, one of the whitest states in the nation.