Nov 12, 2014 5:23 PM
Rockingham County Attorney denies firing was retaliation
Newly-elected Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway who replaced embattled former County Attorney Jim Reams has fired a prosecutor who allegedly leaked information that her husband was incorrectly removed from the state's so-called Laurie List.
Salem police Sgt. Eric Lamb, Conway's Husband, was placed on the state's Laurie List in 2008 for failing to show up for a police assignment and failure to comply with orders. The Laurie List means defense attorney's will be notified of an officer's questionable credibility if they testify during a case.
In July of 2011 Lamb was erroneously removed from the list, two years after retiring from the Salem Department.
Jerome Blanchard alerted the state of the change in April of 2014 and Blanchard was later re-added to the list.
Days after winning the seat to replace Reams, Conway fired Blanchard. The Seacoast Online reports Conway had no idea Blanchard was involved with her husband's case and said the firing was not retaliation for the misconduct investigation of Reams.
Timeline of events
Oct 2013: A female attorney files sex assault claim against Jim Reams who was suspended with pay.
November 2013: Attorney General Joe Foster strips Reams of his power to prosecute.
April 2014: Reams returns to work, after a 6th month legal battle. Reams maintains no wrongdoing.
April 2014: Jerome Blanchard, a prosecutor in the County Attorney's office tipped off the state that Eric Lamb was erroneously cleared from the Laurie list.
May 2014: Senior Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti, who served as interim Rockingham County attorney after Reams was suspended, tells employees in the county attorney's office that Eric Lamb should never have been marked as "cleared" on the state's Laurie list. His name was then restored.
June 2014: Reams announces retirement
November 4, 2014: Patricia Conway (R) beats Joe Plaia (D) in election to replace Reams. Conway worked with Reams As Assistant County Attorney for 15 years.
November 7, 2014: Conway fires Jerome Blanchard. Conway says she had no idea Blanchard was the whistleblower behind the investigation involving her husband. But says she can't disclose the reasoning for the termination.