EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

January 3, 2014

Reams denied immediate reinstatement

Another hearing set for Jan. 21


Reams admitted to joking he hoped his employees did not become pregnant. The attorney general’s office investigated the “babe” remark and was not able to prove he made the comment.

Reams is also accused of violating state law by diverting money received through court fines for liquor and gambling violations and the forfeiture of assets seized by law enforcement.

The money was distributed to police departments involved in the criminal investigations instead of being put in the county’s general fund, according to County Commissioner Kevin Coyle.

After a hearing Dec. 19, McNamara determined Reams’ reinstatement request was only for a preliminary injunction that would allow him to immediately return to office while the investigation continued.

But McNamara said in his decision, handed down last week, that another hearing would have to be held to resolve the case. That hearing is set for Jan. 21.

Meanwhile, Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards has said more time would be needed to investigate the numerous allegations against by Reams made by his employees. She did not give a timetable for the investigation at the hearing Dec. 19 and could not be reached for comment yesterday.

McNamara stressed during the hearing that while the state needed time to make sure justice was properly served, “It can’t go on forever.”

Reams and Ramsdell have argued the Attorney General’s Office exceeded its authority in forcing the suspension.

Neither Reams nor Ramsdell, who is on vacation, could be reached yesterday for comment on McNamara’s ruling.

Coyle and fellow County Commissioner Thomas Tombarello said they agreed with the judge’s decision to deny Reams’s immediate reinstatement.

“We can’t have that investigation jeopardized by an employee coming back at this time,” Tombarello said.

Tombarello said he’s also concerned the two other members of Reams’ office placed on leave continue to be paid by the county while they are not working. The two earn a combined $160,000 a year, he said.

“The county is picking up that money during this investigation,” he said.

Ever since the investigation began, no details have been released on Reid and the other employee.

Coyle, who is also the Londonderry Police Department prosecutor, said he felt McNamara made the right decision but could not comment further.

“I think the judge made the correct legal ruling,” he said.

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