NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

December 20, 2013

Reams remains suspended, as criminal probe continues

Rockingham Co. attorney appears in court

(Continued)

He pointed to New Hampshire case law where other public officials had to receive notice and a hearing prior to suspension.

Edwards defended the need to keep Reams away from the office, saying the investigation involves questioning his subordinates and reviewing records.

Witnesses could be influenced, she said.

Ramsdell and Edwards both openly disagreed with McNamara’s opinions on the case yesterday.

Ramsdell said he wasn’t looking for a preliminary injunction at all, but rather a declaratory judgment settling the issue.

Edwards disagreed with the judge that a county attorney only could be suspended for a criminal investigation.

But McNamara said he is just one judge and both sides have a right to appeal his decisions.

The judge questioned Ramsdell about the public’s interest and what would happen should Reams be allowed to prosecute cases in the midst of his own investigation.

Ramsdell responded that nothing happens to those cases.

“They are not tainted in any way,” he said.

At one point, McNamara stressed Reams is convicted of nothing.

“Your client is presumed innocent,” McNamara said to Ramsdell. “It may well be these charges amount to nothing.”

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