NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

November 12, 2013

Our view: Public owed explanation of county attorney probe

There needs to be a full and public accounting of the reasons for the suspension of Rockingham County Attorney James Reams and two other employees in his office. The current silence from New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster and U.S. Attorney John Kacavas will not suffice.

Reams is the chief prosecutor in the county, which includes coastal communities from Seabrook to Portsmouth and dozens of other towns in eastern New Hampshire. The county attorney’s office prosecutes cases for 37 police departments, the county sheriff’s department, state police and other state agencies.

When a public official is under investigation, the public has a right to know what the allegations involve.

Last week, Foster and Kacavas announced that Reams and his second-in-command, Deputy County Attorney Thomas Reid, were placed on paid administrative leave while investigators probe “management and operational issues” at the office. Reams, at a conference in Texas, and Reid were contacted Wednesday night and ordered to stay away from the county attorney’s office at Rockingham Superior Court in Brentwood.

A third employee may have been suspended as well, but Foster and Kacavas would not confirm that.

Reams, reached by a reporter Thursday morning, said he was surprised to have been suspended and could not comment. He said he was still trying to sort out the details.

“I can’t talk about it,” Reams told a reporter. “I don’t know what’s going on.”

Foster provided few details of the investigation into Reams and his office. Foster said the attorney general’s office began an investigation after receiving a complaint from a former employee of the county attorney’s office two weeks ago. Foster would not describe the nature of the complaint.

“The interview led us to a number of other former employees we interviewed, along with agents from the FBI,” Foster said during a press conference at Superior Court Thursday morning. “The interviews corroborated the allegations made by the complainant and raised other issues.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans