EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 6, 2013

Police turn over Derry town administrator case to county attorney

County attorney to decide if administrator will be charged

By Jo-Anne MacKenzie

---- — DERRY — New Hampshire State Police have completed their investigation into Town Administrator John Anderson and turned the case over to the county attorney for review.

Anderson has been on paid administrative leave since July 12, pending the completion of the investigation.

In a two-sentence email yesterday, acting town administrator Larry Budreau said he heard from state police late Friday that their investigation had been completed.

“There is no information other than that,” Budreau wrote.

Rockingham County Attorney Jim Reams said yesterday evening, “The file is in our office and it’s under review.”

The investigation was launched after a citizen alleged something happened at Anderson’s Derry home on the night of July 11, state police Capt. David Parenteau said earlier.

Parenteau, the commander of the state police Investigative Services Section, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Reams said state police came to his office Friday afternoon and spoke to one of his investigators. He, too, spoke to police briefly, he said. State police went over their file with the investigator to see whether they needed to do more. Reams said he had not yet reviewed the file himself.

Derry police contacted his office when the complaint was first filed, he said, to make sure there was no appearance of conflict of interest in the investigation. State police conducted the investigation for the same reason, he said.

Reams said he expects his office to complete its review this week or next, then he will decide what, if any, charges could be brought against Anderson.

Little is known about the basis for the complaint. Parenteau did say earlier the complainant is an adult and went to Derry police with his concerns.

It’s not uncommon for a police department to ask for an outside investigation when a complaint involves a high-ranking official.

The Town Council met in nonpublic session for less than an hour July 12 before emerging and voting, 7-0, to place Anderson on leave. They also named Budreau, who’s the human resources director and assistant administrator, as acting town administrator.

Anderson, 50, makes $124,962 a year. He was chosen from a field of 121 candidates in October 2010. Prior to taking the top Derry job, he was town manager in Boothbay, Maine, for 10 years.

Budreau has emphasized since town officials learned of the complaint that it does not involve town business, except to the extent that Anderson is a town employee.

“His status will change only after the state police investigation is complete and the Town Council has the opportunity to evaluate the information and make a decision,” Budreau said last month.