, Newburyport, MA

November 7, 2013

Rockingham Co. attorney suspended; under investigation


---- — BRENTWOOD, N.H. — Long-time Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams and his deputy Tom Reid have been suspended, as state and federal authorities investigate alleged "managerial and operational" improprieties.

At a joint press conference held this morning at Rockingham County Superior Court in Brentwood this morning, New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster and U.S Attorney John Kacavas discussed the issues that led to the men being placed on administrative leave Wednesday night.

According to Foster, two weeks ago a former employee lodged a complaint against Reams over managerial and operational issues. An interview with the individual led Foster to consider the situation grave.

"The allegations were significant," Foster said at today's press conference.

The extent of the original complaint led Foster's investigators to interview other former employees, with the assistance of FBI agents.

"Those interviews corroborated the allegations made by the initial complainant, and raised other issues," Foster said.

Using his authority as attorney general, Foster said, he suspended the proprietorial duties of both Reams and Reid.

Informed of the situation by Foster Wednesday night, Rockingham County Commissioners placed Reams and Reid on administrative leave, requiring them to stay away from their offices.

Also on Wednesday, the Superior Court named Senior Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti as interim county attorney as the investigation continues. Foster said Boffetti has assumed his new role.

Foster said, the investigation will include interviews with current staff at the county attorney's office.

Kacavas, who was contacted for assistance by Foster, said his office and that of the attorney general were working hand-in-hand on the investigation. At the press conference, he added the investigation will be conducted expeditiously.

Kacavas stressed that although Reams and Reid are suspended, work will continue at the Rockingham County Attorney's office, which "remains open for business administering criminal justice uninterrupted and unabated during the pending investigation."

The office of the county attorney is an elected office. Reams, a Republican, has held the office since 1998.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.