Reams found not guilty

Lazaro Aleman
ECB Publishing

Clerk of Court Kirk Reams had his day in court this week and he prevailed.
After 20 minutes of deliberations on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 11, a six-member jury returned a verdict of not guilty on the charge of petit theft.
During the four-or-so-hour trial, the state presented eight witnesses. The state's argument was essentially that when Reams loaned a county-owned laptop to a former girlfriend for her personal use, he had committed a theft, even if the device was ultimately returned to the courthouse.
“There are flaws in the law, but what Kirk Reams did is a crime,” Assistant State Attorney MacKenzie Hogan argued in her closing statements. “Taking something, even temporarily, is still a crime. It's not the crime of century, but it's still a crime. We have to hold him accountable. Nobody is above the law. Not even elected officials.”
The defense never disputed the fact that Reams had given his former girlfriend the computer. But Defense Attorney David Collins repeatedly asked where was the crime and the intentionality in Reams' action.
He cited the Jefferson County Commission's Capital Asset Policy, which states that department heads have the authority to dispose of county property under $1,000 worth of value at their discretion.
“The policy says department heads can dispose of county property as they see fit,” Collins argued. “To commit a crime you have to have an intention. There is no evidence that he intended to commit a crime. Look at the evidence. What crime is there to let a young woman use the laptop for her business? What's the crime? He was helping someone. That's all he did. That's not a crime.”
The jury apparently agreed with Collins' assessment.
The full story will appear in the Wednesday, Jan. 17, Monticello News.