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Rockingham County attorney suspension continues amid probe
Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams, right, listens to his attorney, Michael Ramsdell, at Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord on Thursday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
No specific allegations against Reams have been made public.
When asked by McNamara, she said she could not commit to a timetable as to when the investigation may wrap up.
Edwards said the investigation kicked off in mid-October, when her office received a call from a Rockingham County attorney alleging incidents of misconduct. Staff from the AG's office interviewed witnesses outside of Reams' office, and the U.S. Attorney's Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation were brought in on the investigation as well. The evidence was corroborated, and Foster decided to remove Reams from office, doing so on Nov. 6, in order to have "an unfettered investigation" when speaking to additional witnesses and examining documents.
Reams' attorney, Michael Ramsdell, on Thursday again argued against the attorney general's right to remove his client from office, while also requesting discovery information into the investigation against Reams.
Judge McNamara denied Ramsdell's request in a 12-page order emailed to both parties on Wednesday.
Ramsdell said that the judge's statement that Thursday's hearing was a preliminary injunction was wrong, and that he instead he was before the court asking for a reconsideration of the decision to suspend Reams from office last month. Ramsdell said that the only other case on record involving the removal of a county attorney in New Hampshire, Eames vs. Rudman in 1975, involved an attorney that was removed after authorities brought a misdemeanor charge against the attorney after completing a brief investigation. Ramsdell said that in this case Reams was suspended without notice, when he "wasn't even in the state," and that seven weeks later no charges have been brought against his client.
McNamara argued that the attorney general had "no authority to remove," suggesting that if the AG's office wanted to remove a county attorney for misconduct, it could bring forward a complaint and outline the reasons, a process that would include the discovery that Ramsdell was requesting, along with a trial.
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