EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

August 22, 2013

Reams: Extradition of Anderson would be costly

By Doug Ireland

---- — DERRY — Town Administrator John Anderson has been asked to turn himself in to authorities to avoid the time and cost it would require to extradite him from Maine.

Anderson, 50, is on unpaid administrative leave after a DirecTV salesman told police last month that the town administrator made unwanted sexual advances toward him while making a sales call at his Lane Road home.

A warrant for Anderson’s arrest was issued Friday afternoon, charging him with two counts of indecent exposure and lewdness — misdemeanor charges.

Rockingham County Attorney James Reams said yesterday his office and state police have decided it was more prudent to have Anderson agree to surrender than pursue extradition.

Extraditing Anderson could take a few months and cost taxpayers in both states thousands of dollars, Reams said. He said he expects an arrest to be made early next week.

Suspects are usually only extradited if they face felony charges, Reams said.

Reams said Anderson is Maine, where he served as town administrator in Boothbay for 10 years before taking over in Derry in October 2010.

Anderson has been cooperative and will surrender once his attorney returns from vacation next week, Reams said.

If they decide to no longer cooperate, Reams said, he would seek extradition.

“We are unwilling to wait after Labor Day and will take whatever action is necessary,” he said.

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

Anderson was on paid administrative leave from July 12 until Tuesday night, when the Town Council voted unanimously after a two-hour nonpublic meeting to stop paying his $124,962 annual salary.

The council also met in nonpublic session for an hour and a half Friday afternoon. Members decided they wanted to meet with Anderson in person and conduct their own inquiry, acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau said.

Councilors had the option under the town’s charter to fire Anderson immediately, according to Budreau, who the council decided is the only town official authorized to comment on the matter.

Anderson’s three-year contract is up for renewal in October. If Anderson is fired “for cause” before Oct. 26, he is entitled to six months of severance pay, according to his contract.

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