EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 12, 2014

Who was watching Rockingham County's chief watchman?


— Between 2003 and 2013, Reams spent almost $250,000 from the fund for travel, food and other expenses. He reimbursed himself for travel expenses charged to his own credit card for trips to Honolulu, San Diego and Quebec, among other places, though he had his own county-issued credit card.

— He committed ethical violations that included failing to disclose that an employee who testified in criminal trials had lied on her resume when applying for a job with him, a potentially exculpatory piece of evidence.

If true, those allegations are damning.

What’s even more stunning is that in an office full of prosecutors and other guardians of the public good, the alleged misconduct went on for so long — more than a decade — before anyone raised a red flag.

How did the system fail us? Where were the county commissioners, the state authorities? Where were the watchdogs, the whistleblowers, the watchmen over the watchmen themselves?

There are questions that need to be answered as urgently as the questions about Reams himself.

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