Reams still suspended; Court orders hearing on county attorney's appeal
Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams, right, and his attorney Michael Ramsdell at a hearing at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord on Thursday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Reams was suspended Nov. 7, after the attorney general and the U.S. Attorney's Office kicked off an investigation. No specific allegations against Reams have been made public. Foster and U.S. Attorney John Kacavas said last week that the investigation centers on "operational and managerial" issues within Reams' office.
At Thursday's hearing, Ramsdell and Edwards spent 50 minutes arguing whether it was appropriate for the attorney general to take action without any specific charges filed against Reams.
Judge McNamara disagreed, repeatedly pointing out that the merits of the case were not before the court, only the validity of the suspension.
Ramsdell said the ruling in the Rudman case seemed to hinge on the fact that the attorney general needs to have merit to suspend. In the Reams case, it isn't about a criminal matter, but the management of the office, he said.
McNamara offered that the attorney general, as the state's top law enforcement officer, often gets involved in cases and plea deals, and that would seem to allow a suspension of an attorney over the management of their office.
"You'll have to talk to my lawyer," he said as he departed the lobby of the court house.
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