Town Administrator Enters Not Guilty Plea to Two Misdemeanors

Written by
Matt Rittenhouse
and Kathleen D. Bailey

Though he was expected to be arraigned last Friday in Derry District Court on two misdemeanor charges, Town Administrator John Anderson waived that court appearance and had his attorney file a not guilty plea by mail.

Anderson, 50, is being charged with two counts of indecent exposure and lewdness after allegedly exposing himself to a DirecTV salesman at Anderson’s Lane Road home on Thursday, July 11. The charges are the result of a five-week investigation by State Police, which concluded on Aug. 16.
Initially put on paid administrative leave following the incident, Anderson has since been placed on unpaid administrative leave, pending the outcome of a town council investigation into the matter. Acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau has taken over Anderson’s duties. The council had expected to have concluded its investigation by mid-September but did not do so.
Budreau, contacted on Tuesday, said he could not comment on the situation, but expects the matter to be resolved by the end of the month. The council had initially expected to have concluded its investigation by mid-September.
Consultation with legal counsel and non-public sessions were scheduled for the council’s Tuesday, Oct. 15 meeting, after the Nutfield News went to press. Budreau said he could comment on the items to be discussed in non-public session.
Anderson’s new attorney, James Rosenberg of Shaheen and Gordon P.A., said Monday that it is “common practice” with a district court charge to waive arraignment and file the plea by mail when a defendant is represented by a lawyer.
Rosenberg said he wasn’t sure why Anderson had replaced Cornelius Sullivan with him, but speculated that it might be because Rosenberg and his firm are New Hampshire based. Rosenberg works out of the firm’s Concord office.
“We are going to be in touch with the County Attorney’s office and work as cooperatively as possible with them to understand the nature and circumstances of this charge,” Rosenberg said. “Together we will assess how we can productively move forward.”
No date has been set for the trial, Rosenberg said.
As for his client, “John is doing well,” Rosenberg said. “He’s a smart, positive, productive person, and we expect all those qualities to continue.”
Of note in any decision the council may make is the contract that governs the relationship between the town and Anderson. He was hired in October 2010.
Anderson’s contract says that should the employer wish to terminate the services of the employee, except for cause, before Oct. 26, 2013, the employee will be entitled to notice 13 weeks in advance of the separation date, and a severance payment equal to 26 weeks of salary.
“For cause” is defined as
1. Conviction of a felony, whether by plea of nolo contendere or other;
2. Failure to perform any duty or responsibility under the agreement;
3. Misconduct or gross negligence in carrying out employment obligations;
4. Commission of an act of fraud or dishonesty in carrying out employment obligations; and
5. Material breach of the agreement.
If the employee is terminated for cause, he “shall not be entitled to any severance payment and shall only be entitled to prompt payment of unpaid salary through the date of termination and unpaid earned time.”
If Anderson and the Town do not sign a new contract by Oct. 26, Anderson will become an at-will employee of the Town.

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