NORTH HAVERHILL — Having failed with the Grafton County Attorney, the Upper Valley police officer known only as “AB” is now asking the Attorney General’s office to remove his or her name from a list of officers with credibility issues.
But the Attorney General, in a motion recently filed in Grafton County Superior Court, wants Officer AB’s request dismissed, saying “there is no risk of erroneous deprivation of a protected reputational interest” because AB concedes that “the conduct in which he/she engaged actually occurred.”
Nor does Officer AB “allege or argue” that his or her placement on the state’s Exculpatory Evidence Schedule “was erroneous,” writes Anthony Galdieri, a senior assistant attorney general. “Rather, the petitioner alleges only that his/her conduct and the information reflecting it has been made stale and irrelevant by the passage of time, and for this reason alone, he/she should be removed from the EES.”
Galdieri wrote that the state Supreme Court “has never held that a petitioner has a constitutional due-process right to be removed from the EES after an arbitrary period of time on the basis that certain prior conduct which actually occurred has become, in the individual officer’s opinion, stale and irrelevant.”
Likewise, the state is unaware of any such right under federal law, Galdieri added, saying, “it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which his/her prior conduct and the information reflecting it would not be constitutionally required to be disclosed as exculpatory under the New Hampshire and United States Constitutions.”
Officer AB was placed on the Grafton County EES list in 2011, following a use-of-force incident four years earlier.
In the summer of 2007, Officer AB, who was then a rookie, drew his or her firearm and pointed it at a person he/she had been transporting. Later, in writing up a report of the incident, he/she — according to documents filed by his/her attorney — heeded a senior colleague and misrepresented the reason for displaying the gun.
Four years later, Officer AB confessed to his/her police chief what he/she had done, which led to an investigation that cleared the officer of any criminal wrongdoing in connection with the 2007 incident.
But the fact that the investigation was conducted required that AB’s department place him/her on the Grafton County EES.
Last year, Officer AB filed a lawsuit against then- Grafton County Attorney Lara Saffo asking to have his/her name removed from the EES, saying his/her ability to advance in a law-enforcement career was hampered by being on the list.
Marcie Hornick, who was elected Grafton County Attorney last November, was poised to enter into an agreement with Officer AB, but Judge Lawrence MacLeod in April declared that “the Attorney General, and not the Grafton County Attorney or any other county attorney, is the sole executive officer with the authority to remove or decertify a police officer from the EES.”
In a July 10 order, MacLeod directed the Attorney General to be joined to the lawsuit brought by Officer AB.