UPDATED: Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams, two others suspended
Reams has been the county attorney for 15 years.
Attorney General Joe Foster and U.S. Attorney John Kacavas made a joint announcement about the unseating of Reams and his deputy during a press conference in Rockingham County Superior Court.
Foster said a former employee made a complaint to his office, which set off the investigation.
"The allegations were significant," Foster said.
The interview with the former employee "led us to a number of other former employees we interviewed along with agents from the FBI," Foster said. "The interviews corroborated the allegations made by the initial complainant and raised other issues."
Foster said the investigation led him to suspend the prosecutorial duties of Reams, who has held the post of county attorney since being first elected in 1998.
Last night, county commissioners were informed about the investigation by the Attorney General's Office and agreed to place Reid an administrative leave.
Senior assistant attorney general James Boffetti has been named interim county attorney while the investigation continues, according to Foster.
FBI agents and investigators interviews of the staff and the assistant county attorneys at the office began this morning.
"We are hopeful they will be completed in short order," Foster said.
Kacavas said last week he received a request from Foster's office for assistance, and that his office has been working "shoulder to shoulder" with state investigators.
He said the measures taken by the state were meant to maintain the integrity of the investigation, and that residents should be assured that the County Attorney's Office will continue its work during the probe.
"This office remains open for business and the Rockingham County Attorney's Office will continue to function and administer criminal justice uninterrupted and unabated during pendency of this investigation," Kacavas said.
More details will be coming on this story.