Rockingham County attorney Reams returns to office
Rockingham County Attorney James Reams returned to work on Wednesday after a six month battle with the state. (JAMES A. KIMBLE/FILE PHOTO)
Reams arrived at work with his wife, Janis, toting coffee and doughnuts for his employees.
A judge on Tuesday approved an agreement that Reams, of Hampton, struck with the state, which allowed him to return to work as the county’s top prosecutor. Reams had filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Joe Foster and the Rockingham County Commissioners that upended his suspension on April 10. Last Thursday, the state Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in the matter until removal proceedings are complete.
A 10-day trial is set to begin Aug. 4, where prosecutors are expected to lay out evidence that Reams sexually harassed female subordinates and mismanaged a forfeiture account used for office supplies and work-related travel.
“I had no choice. That’s the way I looked at it,” he said. “You look at the allegations and they said I discriminated against people, but they don’t give an example of how a person was discriminated against.”
“It pretty much looks the way I left it with the exception of some files that were taken,” he said.
“People asked me to run again, but I am not going to do that,” he said. “I made the decision two years ago. My wife and I decided together. My close friends and family knew. I am not going to change that.”
“I want to have a better transition for whoever takes over, at least better than the one I went through,” he said. “There are things they have to think about.”
“I think I will do something,” Reams said. “It’s unlikely to be anything in public life. I would be happy pumping gas at a boat dock on Lake Winnipesaukee somewhere.”
His longtime deputy, Tom Reid, resigned in January. His agreement with the state allows an assistant county attorney to carry out the deputy’s duties, but cannot take the job in title. “I will take a week or 10 days to assess how things are going,” Reams said. “It still makes sense to have a deputy.”
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