NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 12, 2014

State claims against Reams are many

Sexual harassment, ethical lapses, financial mismanagement among the complaints

(Continued)

“Reams’s lack of honesty and candor in the management of his forfeiture account make him unfit to be the county’s chief law enforcement officer,” the complaint says.

Between 2007 and 2013, Reams traveled widely — to Honolulu, Orlando, Washington, D.C., and beyond, according to the complaint. Some of those trips were funded through his office’s budget, the complaint says, but many were not. Those other trips, the state claims, were funded through the forfeiture account with “no county approval or oversight.”

“Documentation regarding Reams’s travel reimbursements included memos from Reams to Reams authorizing payment,” the complaint states. “Checks drawn from the forfeiture account were made payable to Reams, and signed by Reams.”

The complaint also alleges Reams often paid himself a federal per diem rate while traveling, using the forfeiture account, and also reimbursed himself for meals and hotel charges.

On at least one occasion, Reams charged the county for his wife’s meal when she joined him and several others at a dinner in Portsmouth.

“In total,” the complaint reads, “Reams distributed over $240,000 from this forfeiture account over which he had sole control.”

Longo enters into the complaint, too. The state alleges Reams knew Longo had lied on her resume when she applied for the victim/witness advocate post, but he failed to tell his own prosecutors, the court or defense attorneys about it. The complaint says Reams was obligated to do so under both state law and the N.H. Rules of Professional Conduct.

Just months after Reams first took office, the Attorney General’s Office received a complaint of sexual harassment against him. The investigation concluded and the attorney general at the time sent Reams a letter about his findings, but also concluded the behavior had improved, if not ended. That proved not to be true, according to the complaint filed yesterday.

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