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The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Suspended County Attorney gives budget advice

By Elizabeth Dinan January 28, 2014 2:00 AM

BRENTWOOD — Interim County Attorney James Boffetti was prepared to make a budget presentation to county officials Monday, was told the meeting was canceled, but later learned it was held in a different location and that suspended County Attorney James Reams presented a budget for the office.
Reams, who is suspended while the target of a criminal investigation, said he was invited to present his budget and that his lawyer advised him that was fine. Reams said he was told to go to the county delegation office at 11 a.m. Monday and he participated in the budget meeting for a little more than an hour.
Boffetti said he received an e-mail over the weekend advising that a budget meeting scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at the county courthouse building was canceled, but was not told the meeting was moved to the delegation office.
"I would have been happy to attend and I'm still happy to attend," said Boffetti, adding that he presented a preliminary budget for the county attorney's office, as the department head, last Thursday night. "All I know is that I wasn't informed of the change of location."
State representative and county delegate Ken Weyler of Kingston said he notified Boffetti that his meeting was canceled and he invited Reams to the alternate budget meeting. He said the county delegation was not formally notified that Reams is no longer county attorney and that Reams is in a better position to craft the county attorney budget.
"I wanted Jim there, not some temporary guy who doesn't care about Rockingham County," Weyler said.
The county delegate said Reams, for example, talked about pay scales for assistant county attorneys who often leave for Hillsborough County after a few years because the pay is higher there.
"That's not something Boffetti would know or care about," Weyler said.
Boffetti, also a senior assistant attorney general, said one of the first things he did when he was sworn in as interim county attorney in November was to work on a budget with the county finance office.
Reams said Monday that he's still the elected county attorney, has not been removed from office and that he's been putting together the county attorney budget for the past 15 years.
Boffetti said county budget hearings are public hearings and anyone can attend.
"From my perspective, there is a lot of important work to be done here and I'm focused on that. I'm happy to work with the delegation," Boffetti said. "This seems to be small-time county politics."
County Commissioner Kevin Coyle called the county delegation subcommittee's "refusal" to meet with Boffetti "disrespectful." Its choice to instead meet "with a person under criminal investigation," he said, "calls into question their integrity."
Reams was suspended Nov. 6 at the onset of a probe by state and federal authorities, while Associate Attorney General Jane Young described him as the "target of a criminal investigation." Assistant Attorney General Anne Edwards recently told a judge that the investigation began with a complaint about harassment and expanded to involve a probe of the county attorney's forfeiture fund that included federal money seized during criminal cases.
Reams, who is not charged with a crime, has since filed suit against the attorney general's office, challenging its authority to suspend him. He has also filed suit against the County Commission for banning him from the county complex where his office is located.
Suspended at the same time were Deputy County Attorney Tom Reid and county victim-witness advocate Tara Longo. Both announced their resignations Jan. 17


Anonymous said...

having a firework display this evening on behalf of changes made in the C.O.I...hey hey hey good bye. shanna na na shanna na na

Anonymous said...

ahhh, we haven't voted yet...

This is why the right to vote should be earned.

Anonymous said...

this is why we need real police on three shifts, not sitting around all day managing traffic and road repairs and taking calls for free oil. we have a firr starter who is mocking pd and cats.

lets hope he neutered.

Anonymous said...

How does any man or woman under suspension from their job get to take part in a budget review /explanation? How can he be trusted to make contributions with any budget proposals or decisions when he hasn't been cleared of his alleged wrong[s]? Could this be an attempt to hide or distort some thing that is in the past or proposed budget to cover any tracks of past wrong doing? Were getting just as bad as Massachusetts when it comes to politicians doing any thing they want instead of the wants of voters.

Anonymous said...

I think it's worse than Massachusetts. They have TV news that out these criminals all the time. We can't even get police logs.

Anonymous said...

ary 29, 2014

Letter: Budget meeting should not have included Reams
Anonymous The Eagle-Tribune The Eagle Tribune Wed Jan 29, 2014, 12:12 AM EST

To the editor:

I write with great dismay over the recent actions of state Rep. Ken Weyler who decided to hold a budget presentation with Jim Reams, our suspended Rockingham County attorney, who is the subject of a criminal investigation.

Mr. Weyler claims he was never notified by the state attorney general’s office that Mr. Reams had been removed from office. However, Rep. Weyler was the one who admittedly cancelled the scheduled presentation on the Rockingham County attorney’s office budget with Interim County Attorney James Boffetti, to instead meet with Mr. Reams at the same time at a secret location.

Mr. Boffetti was put in charge of the Rockingham County attorney’s office by the New Hampshire’s attorney general to restore the integrity lost under Mr. Reams’ watch. Mr. Boffetti had prepared his own budget presentation. Yet, Rep. Weyler chose to ignore the attorney general’s mandate because he never received a gilded notice that Mr. Reams is locked out of his office as the criminal investigation continues.

I now question the integrity of the Rockingham County attorney’s budget with Mr. Reams as the presenter and Rep. Weyler orchestrating the presentation in direct insult to the attorney general. I question how much Mr. Reams included in the budget for travel and expenses, as he was the subject of a criminal investigation while on a junket in Texas.

I do not believe Rep. Weyler lives under a rock, and it is unacceptable for our elected state representative to act as such. There has been much media attention given to the investigation into Mr. Reams and his suspension from office. I would also ask other lawmakers in attendance why they favored snubbing the attorney general and misleading Interim County Attorney Boffetti, or why they did not speak out against allowing Mr. Reams to make a secret budget presentation.

It’s time to let investigators do their jobs and restore integrity to Rockingham County’s top law enforcement office. It’s time for voters to tell our elected officials these political shenanigans will no longer be tolerated.

Justin Metzner


Anonymous said...

I think they should invalidate the budget.