AG Hides Some ‘Laurie List’ Names Hours After Release

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Part of the Exculpatory Evidence Schedule released Wednesday. See whole list inside story.

See the list here: http://indepthnh.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/partialEES.pdf

By DAMIEN FISHER, InDepthNH.org

Several police officers with alleged credibility issues were removed from the public Laurie List Wednesday afternoon after the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office first published the partial list Wednesday morning.

“The list has since been amended because we were notified afterwards about lawsuits that we were not previously made aware of,” said Associate Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin. “Accordingly, the current list is the most up to date and is the list that should be used.”

The New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism, which publishes InDepthNH.org, is suing the state over the Laurie List despite the new law in place that resulted in Wednesday’s partial release. The New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism contends the new law doesn’t truly protect the public’s right to know which officers are on the list, as officers can petition the courts to get their names removed. And 29 names have been removed under the attorney general’s 2018 protocol, half of them since the new law was put in place.

Among the names removed in the afternoon are Mark Bodanza, a former Hanover Police Captain, as well as the former head of operations at the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Academy. Bodanza left his job at the academy in June of 2017 for the position in Hanover, which he then left in 2020. The Laurie List, now called the Exculpatory Evidence Schedule states Bodanza was placed on the list for “truthfulness” due to a June 1, 2017 incident. 

Contacted Wednesday afternoon, Bodanza declined to discuss the matter.

“I’m going to leave it as I’ve had a great career. I’m going to let my character speak for itself and not get into that,” Bodanza said.

Bodanza left his job overseeing the academy months after several recruits were removed when they were found with contraband study materials. The items in question consisted of notes and materials given to one recruit by an officer who had recently graduated from the Academy. These materials were shared among the four recruits and used as study guides. Many of the students removed were later brought back at the insistence of their department chiefs.

Also on the list in the morning, and removed in the afternoon, is James McLaughlin, a Keene Police detective who gained a high profile in the 2000s for his then-innovative use of the internet to catch sex offenders. McLaughlin was placed on the list due to a 1985 “falsification of records” incident. 

McLaughlin could not be reached for comment, and Keene Chief Steve Russo did not respond to a request for comment. McLaughlin started using the Internet in the late 1990s and early 2000s to gather evidence on sex offenders. He made cases against them by posing as a teen in online forums and engaging in sexually charged conversations with adult men. At his peak, McLaughlin made 400 arrests on his own, according to a 2003 Boston Globe profile.

McLaughlin was also the lead investigator in the case of former Catholic priest Gordon MacRae. MacRae was convicted in 1994 on five counts of sexually assaulting a teen boy. MacRae has claimed that McLaughlin offered to pay cash to one of his accusers during the investigation. MacRae has maintained his innocence, though failed in all of his legal appeals in the case to date.

It’s not clear from the court records if MacRae or his legal team were aware of McLaughlin’s 1985 issue that had him put on the Laurie List.

Also removed from the morning list are: Campton Police Officer Seth Arcieri; Dover Police Officer Killian Kondrup; Claremont Police Officer Justin Leach; Milford Police Officer Anthony Millar; and New Hampshire State Police Trooper Brett Parenteau. All of the officers were placed on the EES for “truthfulness” issues, according to the list.

The list, as is stood published on Wednesday afternoon, includes former Dover Officer Roland “R.J.” Letendre, who abused his wife, breaking four ribs last year, and got her arrested for domestic violence. The date of Letendre’s trigger incident is not known, but he was placed on the list due to “Truthfulness / Excessive Force / Criminal Conduct” in August of 2020.

Troy Police Chief David Ellis is also on the afternoon list for a “truthfulness” issue. The date of that issue is also unknown, but reported to the state in 2018. Ellis gained notoriety when it was discovered he attended the Jan. 6 rally put on by former President Donald Trump to try and stop the election of President Joseph Biden. Ellis reportedly did not take part in the subsequent riot. 

New Hampshire’s EES started as the Laurie List in the wake of the New Hampshire Supreme Court decision in State vs. Laurie. The State vs. Laurie decision from 1995 overturned Carl Laurie’s murder conviction because prosecutors withheld knowledge that a key police witness had been disciplined for dishonesty.

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