Rockingham County official looking at less spending
Interim Rockingham County Attorney James Boffetti met with a subcommittee of the county delegation on Friday for continued budget talks. (JAMES A. KIMBLE/FILE PHOTO)
Boffetti told a budget subcommittee that they should expect less spending from the county attorney’s office on the credit card, and for expenses such as travel and in-state lunches.
Those who attended Friday’s subcommittee meeting described the atmosphere as cordial — a sharp contrast from the terse discourse that came late last month when Boffetti’s appearance before the subcommittee was suddenly cancelled.
Reams has been suspended from his prosecutorial duties amid a criminal investigation by the state Attorney General and U.S. Attorney’s Office. Reams has denied any wrongdoing.
Rep. Kenneth Wyler, R-Kingston, said members of the subcommittee will meet briefly at the Statehouse on Wednesday to decide on any changes to the proposed budget, including a possible three percent pay increase for assistant county attorneys.
Wyler said a longer-term discussion is expected to continue regarding retention and pay scales of county prosecutors in order to increase retention in the office. Wyler said he remained skeptical of the investigation into Reams, suggesting that it’s politically motivated.
The ongoing credit card expense, he said, was largely due to jackets that were bought for prosecutors to wear while they were working on-call shifts. The expense had not been authorized by county commissioners, so the $600 in costs for jackets accrued late fees that ran on average $640 per year, according to Boffetti.
He said commissioners will ultimately have to decide on how to resolve the credit card issue.
That money did not include funds used for travel from a forfeiture account once maintained by Reams, which is being scrutinized by investigators.
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