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Process and law: Foster's questionable circumvention

Jim Reams is the duly elected Rockingham County Attorney. Joe Foster, the state Attorney General, investigated allegations of misconduct by Reams and chose not to press criminal charges. Yet Foster ordered Reams out of office and continues to maneuver to keep him out without letting him challenge Foster's report chronicling alleged misdeeds. Such a denial of due process should not stand.

Let us be clear that the misconduct Foster alleges in his report is indefensible if true. But no one has proven it true, and Foster is trying to keep Reams out without having to prove the allegations. There is a legally established procedure for removing an elected county attorney. Foster is trying to keep Reams out without going through that procedure.

County attorneys are entitled to hearings prior to their removal from office. That is the law. Circumventing the law to remove an elected official from office more quickly than the law allows is not acceptable behavior for an attorney general.

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