NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 8, 2013

FBI probes 'management' issues in Reams' office

Reams, two others suspended

(Continued)

Reams, 66, of Hampton is a U.S. Navy veteran who was first elected county attorney in 1998 after starting as an intern in the office in 1976.

He briefly served as an assistant county attorney before leaving to start his own practice in 1978. Reams, re-elected to another two-year term last year, was an attorney in the Hampton and Exeter areas for 20 years.

The county attorney’s office prosecutes cases for 37 police departments, the county sheriff’s department, state police and other state agencies.

Reid, often called on to prosecute high-profile cases in the office, had worked there for 16 years. Those cases include the upcoming trial of Plaistow child abuse suspect Roland Dow. He could not be reached for comment.

Kacavas would not confirm a published report that the investigation was launched because female employees in the office complained of unequal treatment.

He did say his office will release further information when it can and not jeopardize the investigation.

“The goal is to keep the public as apprised as we can — it is their office,” Kacavas said.

He would not say if anyone else could be disciplined.

“It’s too early to tell,” Kacavas said.

The U.S. attorney’s office joined the investigation last week after being contacted by the attorney general’s office.

Boffetti, a former public defender who oversaw that office, took over operation of the county attorney’s office yesterday morning. He said he would work to maintain justice in the office.

He confirmed that FBI agents were in the office much of yesterday, interviewing employees, but would not confirm a report that office computers were seized.

Boffetti, who has worked for the attorney general’s office for six years and leads its consumer protection bureau, said he could not comment on the investigation.

“Jim (Reams) has been advised by the attorney general’s office not to enter the building,” Boffetti said. “My job is to keep this office going and let them administer justice.”

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