EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 18, 2013

Former Derry councilor wants info on Anderson

Coyle contends Derry administrator would be paid $43K

By Doug Ireland

---- — DERRY — A former town official thinks taxpayers have a right to know how much Town Administrator John Anderson will be paid as part of a separation agreement.

To that end, former Town Councilor Kevin Coyle has filed a Right-to-Know Law request with the town.

Coyle, a councilor for six years until not seeking re-election in 2012, said yesterday he filed the request with acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau on Wednesday.

Coyle said the public has a right to know how much Anderson will receive, which he estimates at $43,000. Anderson, suspended with pay, faces indecent exposure and lewdness charges.

The council voted, 6-1, on Monday not to renew Anderson’s contract after it expires Oct. 25 in the wake of the two counts brought against him in August. They decided to let Anderson go “without cause.”

Anderson, 50, has been on administrative leave since July 12, a day after an alleged incident at his Lane Road home involving a satellite TV salesman.

He exposed himself to the salesman, asked him to take off his clothes and then masturbated in front of him, according to a police affidavit.

That wasn’t the first time Anderson was allegedly involved in such behavior, according to Coyle, a Londonderry Police Department prosecutor.

Coyle said he confronted Anderson in March and warned him about his personal conduct after being told by a longtime acquaintance that the town administrator had been involved in “inappropriate” activity on numerous occasions in Manchester.

Coyle, who said Anderson ignored his warning, would not comment further on the alleged incidents.

Anderson earns $124,962 a year and would be entitled to a sizable payment because he is leaving without cause, Coyle said.

“In order to follow the contract, they must pay him $43,000,” Coyle said. “If they terminate him without cause, he’s entitled to 18 weeks pay.”

If Anderson was dismissed “with cause,” he would be entitled to six months of severance pay.

“Cause” includes being convicted of a felony and gross negligence in carrying out his employment obligations.

Coyle said the council had the right to terminate Anderson after he was charged.

“I just think it’s ridiculous,” Coyle said. “The guy puts himself in this situation and he gets to walk away with $43,000.”

Coyle, who admits he voted to hire Anderson three years ago, said he’s been a disgrace to Derry.

“He really hasn’t done anything for Derry in the three years he’s been here except cause embarrassment,” Coyle said. “He gave them cause to let him go.”

Coyle also criticized the council.

“Anyone who voted to let him walk away with $43,000 should be embarrassed,” he said.

Mark Osborne, who is a lawyer, was the only councilor to vote against the agreement. No one on the council will comment about Anderson, voting unanimously to allow Budreau to be the only person who can speak on the matter.

Budreau was on vacation yesterday and unavailable for comment. He said Monday night he couldn’t comment on the agreement or how much Anderson would be paid.

Some councilors, including Neil Wetherbee, said yesterday they had yet to hear about the Right-to Know request, which was filed right before Budreau went on vacation. Public Works Director Michael Fowler, who is filling in for Budreau, said Budreau was the only person who could comment about Anderson.

Wetherbee criticized Coyle for his time on the council and for filing his request.

“Kevin didn’t mean much when he was on the council and he means even less now,” he said. “He was always grandstanding. He didn’t accomplish much.”

The attorney handling Anderson’s employment case, Kevin Leonard, could not be reached yesterday for comment.

Anderson, town administrator since 2010, was previously the town administrator in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

The two counts against Anderson are both misdemeanors, each punishable by up to a year in the county jail if convicted.