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County attorney is ordered off the job amid investigation

Posted Nov 8, 2013 11:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A New Hampshire county attorney has been ordered off the job and banned from the courthouse amid an investigation into a complaint about management and operations of his office.

Rockingham County Attorney James Reams and Deputy Rockingham County Attorney Tom Reid were placed on paid leave, report Foster’s Daily Democrat, the Newburyport News, Seacoast Online and the Associated Press.

New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster and U.S. Attorney John Kacavas announced the developments on Thursday.

Two sources told Foster’s the investigation involved allegations of sexual harassment and other improprieties. State Rep. Laura Pantelakos, D-Portsmouth, told Seacoast Online the complaints were based on allegations of unequal treatment by female lawyers in the office. She said two women had resigned and a third sent a letter of complaint to county commissioners.

Kacavas did not confirm the report, but said his office would release more information when it wouldn't compromise the investigation.

The Newburyport News reached Reams at a conference in Texas. He said he was surprised by the suspension and was trying to sort out the details.“I can’t talk about it,” Reams said. “I don’t know what’s going on.”

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