The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled Thursday that suspended Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams can return to office while the Attorney General appeals a lower court's finding that the suspension was unlawful.
The Supreme Court denied the AG's request for a stay that would have kept Reams out of office until the appeal is argued.
Earlier this week, Reams' attorney asked a judge to dismiss the state Attorney General’s complaint to remove him from office. That complaint is based on instances of sexual harassment, discrimination and financial abuse allegedly uncovered in the AG's four month investigation.
In a motion filed Wednesday, Reams’ Attorney Michael Ramsdell argues that the complaint comes too late to be considered valid in court.
“We believe the complaint for removal should be dismissed,” Ramsdell says, “because the allegations with one exception all involve alleged conduct that occurred during prior terms.”
Ramsdell says he believes “you can’t remove a public official for conduct that occurred in prior terms, only for instances of misconduct that occurred in current term.”
Ramsdell also argues that Reams made the Attorney General aware of his unconventional financial dealings years before the investigation, and has acted with integrity.
If a judge dismisses the AG’s complaint for removal, Reams would return to office until January, when his term ends. He has said he will not run for reelection.