Troy Police Chief says he doesn’t know why he’s on the “Laurie List”
Troy’s police chief says he has no idea why he was added to a police roster with possible credibility issues.
“I don’t even know what the problem is,” Chief David Ellis told NHPR on Thursday.
Ellis was one of 90 names made public at the end of last month when the New Hampshire Department of Justice published, for the first time, a partial version of the so-called Laurie’s List. Officially known as the Defense Evidence Schedule, the list follows current and former police officers with sustained findings of misconduct that could undermine their testimony at trial.
The list includes only vague descriptions of why the agents were included. Ellis was added in 2018, when he was a chef, for “truth” reasons.
The date of the incident that led to his inclusion is unknown and Ellis said he couldn’t figure out what it could have been.
“I want to know, because if I’m part of it, then I’m part of it,” he said.
Ellis said he first learned he was on the list a few months ago, when the Justice Department informed him and others on the list that it would go public . Ellis did not appeal his list status, however, leading to the December disclosure.
Dick Thackston, who chairs the Troy Board of Selectmen, said city officials have contacted the Justice Department for more details on why Ellis was on the list. They were expecting a response on Thursday.
“It’s kind of unfair for everyone to just throw that thing out there and say, ‘Here’s that accusation,’” Thackston said in an interview. ” Oh okay. What does that mean ? In our case, “truth”. “
“There is no way to judge the magnitude or the implications without knowing what it is,” he added.
Ellis is one of at least two current police chiefs on the list. The other, Chief Shaun O’Keefe of the Lyme Police Department, was also listed for “truth.” He previously told NHPR that the issue stemmed from a “hunting incident” in Pennsylvania when he was a lower-ranking officer and the charges were subsequently dropped.
Ellis sparked controversy a year ago when he attended the pro-Trump rally on January 6, 2021, which led to the deadly riot on Capitol Hill. At the time, he condemned the violence of the rioters and said he left as others advanced on the building.
Speaking outside the Troy Police Department on Thursday, Ellis said he was trying to contact the Justice Department to request his inclusion on the list.
“As soon as I find out, I will let everyone know what this is about,” he said.
For years, the Laurie List has been hidden from public view. A 2020 State Supreme Court ruling determined that the list was not categorically exempt from disclosure under New Hampshire’s transparency laws. Last year, the Legislature passed a bill to publish the Laurie List, with support from the police unions, but only after officers had another opportunity to appeal.
Police officers are normally added to the list by their chiefs of police and have the right to appeal this decision through the court system. According to the attorney general’s office, an outside investigator responding to an incident involving the chief could result in his listing.
In March, the attorney general’s office is due to release the names of officers who were put on the Laurie list before May 2018 and who do not have an ongoing appeal with the state.