UPDATED: County attorney remains suspended after hearing
Unlike Eames, Reams faces no criminal charges and has not been accused of any specific wrongdoing.
Ramsdell said during an interview Wednesday that Reams is "very much looking forward" to his day in court, and learning more about the allegations that set off the investigation.
Reams was notified about his suspension through an e-mail last Wednesday night, which contained a pair of letters from Foster and the county commissioners, according to court documents. He was also ordered to return any county property in his possession.
"By barring County Attorney Reams from the Rockingham County Attorney's Office and stripping him of his Rockingham County property, the commissioners directly interfered with County Attorney Reams' constitutional law enforcement obligations and duties to the citizens of Rockingham County," Ramsdell said in court papers.
"The decisions we made were based on what we were told by the attorney general and the U.S. attorney about the investigation," Coyle said. "We did not suspend him, but the office building is under the control of the commissioners. We did that at the request of the U.S. attorney and the attorney general."
Ramsdell said he disagrees that Foster or the commissioners have the authority to interfere with Reams' job status.
Ramsdell contends that a 2004 state Supreme Court decision about a dispute between Rockingham County commissioners and then-county sheriff Dan Linehan concluded that commissioners may not interfere with a constitutional officer's law enforcement duties.
Ramsdell also addressed recent criticism his client has endured in the wake of suspension, including his traveling to conferences, and reports that female employees complained to a Portsmouth state representative about a hostile work environment.
Ramsdell said organizations asking him to participate in conferences have paid Reams' travel expenses, and Reams has brought back valuable training to his employees.
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