NH AG, Rockingham County Commissioners seek removal of county attorney

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March 11, 2014, 10:24 pm
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(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Brentwood, N.H.) - The New Hampshire Attorney General has joined with the Rockingham County Commissioners to launch a civil complaint against Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams, seeking to remove him from office.

The complaint is damaging from the first page to the last, and includes allegations of sexual harassment and financial mismanagement over Reams' 15 year tenure at this office.

"Placed his hand on her thigh." "Placed his finger where the button was undone." "Told a female employee 'You ought to pad your bra...'"

That's just a partial sample of the allegations in court documents against the seven-term Rockingham County attorney.

"It's a concern to us if indeed it did happen. Again, they're allegations, so we're not attorneys. We're just county commissioners," said Rockingham County Commissioner Thomas Tombarello.

Included in the 25 page complaint is the allegation that Reams created a hostile work environment that drove people out of the office.

"County Attorney Reams will dispute each and every one of the allegations there," said attorney Michael Ramsdell, who has been representing Reams since he was suspended from his position in November, following a sexual harassment allegation made by a female employee.

When asked if he believed his client, Ramsdell said, "The evidence is going to show that he has not committed any acts of sexual harassment."

The other allegations against Reams include he expensed lavish dinners on the county credit card, referred to high heeled shoes with lewd comments, talked about oral sex and made inappropriate remarks targeting potential pregnancy of female employees.

Several instances of alleged sexual harassment date back to 1999 soon after he was first elected to office.

Most of the names have been redacted, including those who called him "creepy Uncle Jim."

"When you say it's only to remove him from his position, that's not a trivial matter," Ramsdell said.

"A lot of people are concerned. A lot of people are asking the question, you know, they voted Mr. Reams in and they want to know why Mr. Reams is not the county attorney and why somebody else is in there and he's still getting paid," Tombarello said.

Reams is still making his $85,000-a-year salary though he's not working, and has petitioned the court to get his job back.

He will not run for an eighth term.

Reams will be back in Merrimack Superior Court on April 7.

Tags: new hampshire, Josh Brogadir, New Hampshire Attorney General, Brentwood, Jim Reams, Jim Reams civil complaint, Rockingham NH County
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