Rockingham County, NH- New Hampshire’s Attorney General has publicly released the complaint against form Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams, four months after he was suspended.
The 25-page complaint details numerous incidents of sexual harassment, retaliation, and financial mismanagement on behalf of Reams. The Attorney General’s Office is seeking to have him removed as Rockingham County attorney.
According to the complaint, Reams began sexually harassing female coworkers over 15 years ago when he first began his tenure as county attorney. Just a few months after taking office, a female employee reported to then-Attorney General McLaughlin that Reams was sexually harassing women in his office, referring to them as “babe,” encourage one woman to unbutton the top buttons of her sweater because it made her look like a “prude,” and told another woman to “pad” her bra.
AG McLaughlin sent a letter to Reams who said his comments were “unwise” jokes and refused to take responsibility.
The complaint also details a campaign of retaliation Reams launched against one of the women who accused him of sexual harassment. After the woman filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, Reams curtailed her duties and changed her position. When she found another job Reams smeared her name calling her incompetent.
Another women who served as assistant county attorney said Reams threatened to alter her case load unless she came to his condominium. She said she was not comfortable being in the office alone with Reams.
Reams’ harassment accelerated and he began to subject women in the office to unwanted touching. On one occasion, Reams noticed that one of the buttons on the assistant county attorney’s blouse had come undone in the chest area. Reams came up to the one woman, put his finger where the button was undone and said something to the effect “You’ve got a problem there sweetheart,” the complaint says.
He also allegedly brushed her buttocks.
At a domestic violence conference, Reams placed his hand on the assistant attorney’s thigh and rubbed it with his thumb. Reams would ask her about her relationship, complained about his wife and looked at her inappropriately.
Reams incessant leering earned him the nickname “creepy Uncle Jim” according to WMUR.
Reams also made it known to the women on his staff that he did not want them to get pregnant and retaliated against women who did. Some of the women on the staff feared that their careers were in jeopardy if they decided to start a family.
The complaint also details unethical financial mismanagement by Reams, which the AG said was not illegal but it is dubious.
“County Attorney Reams denies that he ever inappropriately touched or said anything to anyone,” attorney Michael Ramsdell who represents Reams told WMUR “He looks forward to actually discovering the basis for these allegations.”
Reams is not facing any criminal charges, but the Attorney General is hoping he will resign as County Attorney. Reams said he will not run for re-election.