Legal Ethics

New Hampshire AG seeks to fast-track hearing on county attorney's removal

New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster has asked a judge to fast-track a hearing on his petition to remove a county attorney from office.

Foster is seeking to remove veteran Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams from office over allegations of sexual harassment and mishandling funds, the Concord Monitor reports.

The attorney general had ordered Reams off the job last November, but a judge ordered the county attorney reinstated earlier this month, saying Foster lacked the authority to continue the suspension after saying that no criminal charges would be brought against Reams.

“Allegations, no matter how inflammatory, are not a substitute for evidence,” Merrimack Superior Court Judge Richard McNamara said in his order.

McNamara postponed the effective date of his order for 30 days to allow Foster to appeal it or seek an additional stay from the state supreme court. However, the attorney general’s office is still pursuing its petition to permanently remove Reams.

Reams and his lawyer have challenged the legality of his suspension from the start, saying Foster does not have the power to suspend a county attorney unless criminal charges have been filed.

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