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 not only refused to accept responsibility for his actions, he has continued to engage in similar behavior ever since,” the complaint states.

The behavior includes inviting employees to bring their bathing suits to his condominium for drinks and a dip in the hot tub, inappropriate and unwanted physical contact with female employees, telling female employees not to get pregnant, and retaliating against those who did, the complaint claims.

“Reams’s conduct toward women in his office earned him the nickname ‘creepy Uncle Jim’ among some of his employees,” the complaint states.

Reams was the subject of another investigation in 2012 by the Rockingham County Human Resources Department.

“(Human Resources) concluded that a hostile work environment existed and that retaliation had occurred,” the complaint says.

Reams accepted no responsibility for his actions nor the work environment, according to the state.

“His misconduct far exceeds the ordinary misjudgment standard for removal,” the complaint states. “His actions were deliberate, pervasive and breached the public’s trust inherent in the duties of a county attorney.”

The complaint alleges Reams’s misconduct “has encompassed his entire tenure” and he is unfit for the post.

The attorney general and the county commissioners are asking the court to remove Reams from the office.

His term expires at the end of this year and he has announced he will not seek re-election.

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