John Gantert was an officer for six years in the Rochester, New Hampshire police department. In 2011, Gantert was instructed to assist in booking an individual arrested for domestic violence. The Department standard operating procedure in domestic violence cases requires that an officer interview the victim and fill out a report which gauges the degree of violence and danger to the victim. Before ending his shift, the arresting officer that Gantert was assisting, had interviewed the victim and filled out his report and sent it to the county attorney. Gantert was not aware that the report was already filled out and watched a video of the arresting officer’s interview with the victim and filled out a second hand report. The report has many questions that were not included in the interview, which resulted in Gantert’s reporting being materially different than the arresting officer’s report. Gantert signed his report with the arresting officer’s name and sent it to the county attorney.
The county attorney discovered the conflicting reports and an internal affairs investigation began, which led to the Police Chief terminating Gantert for dishonesty and told Gantert his action could led him to New Hampshire’s Brady-type list. The Police Commission upheld the Chief’s decision to terminate Gantert but this termination was overturned by an arbitrator. Gantert then requested that his name be taken off the Brady list. The Department declined and Gantert sued, claiming that he had not been provided due process before being placed on the list.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court rejected his lawsuit. The Court ruled that he had multiple opportunities to be heard by the internal affairs investigator, the Chief, and the Commission. The Court stated that the government has a strong interest in meeting its Brady obligation. The government provided an internal investigation, and review within and outside of the department, and therefore there is no need for a more formalized hearing.
Gantert v. City of Rochester, 2016 WL 1069042 (N.H. 2016)