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Fight To Know Why AG Tried To Remove County Attorney Four Years Ago Still in Court

By Nancy West,

It’s been more than four years since then-Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams was locked out of his office amid allegations of an ethical violation, financial mismanagement and gender discrimination, accusations that were ultimately never proven or even argued in court.

Reams’ then-deputy county attorney Tom Reid is still trying to find out what evidence then-Attorney General Joseph Foster used in his failed attempt to remove Reams from elected office. Reid filed a right-to know request for Foster’s investigation on April 17, 2014.

Dissatisfied with the 7,000 plus mostly redacted pages he received, Reid appealed to the Superior Court, then to the state Supreme Court, which remanded it back to Superior Court where the case now awaits Reid’s next move to get unredacted what he sees as vital information about Foster’s reasons for trying to remove Reams.

“From the beginning, the intent was to wear people down,” Reid said. “The biggest problem with the right-to-know law is the five days they have to respond. The five days mean nothing. In five days, they say, ‘We’ll get to you whenever we feel like it,’” Reid said.

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