EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 10, 2013

Anderson to meet with Derry council

By Alex Lippa

---- — DERRY — For the first time since his arrest, Town Administrator John Anderson will meet with the Town Council face to face tomorrow night.

The council asked Anderson to appear in a nonpublic session at 6:30 p.m. as they continue to review his situation. Anderson was arrested last month and charged with indecent exposure and lewdness, both misdemeanors.

“We will begin the inquiry into the matter (tomorrow),” Acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau said, “just as we intended to do since late August.”

Anderson has been on administrative leave since July 12, one day after an alleged incident at his Lane Road home involving a DirecTV salesman. The salesman told Derry police Anderson made unwanted sexual advances toward him during a sales call, according to a police affidavit.

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.

But despite the allegations, Anderson still hopes to return as town administrator.

“He is anxious to get back to work,” said Cornelius Sullivan, Anderson’s attorney. “I would hope that he would be able to, but that is at the liberty of the Town Council.”

The meeting will be the first time councilors have met about Anderson since Aug. 20. At that meeting, his administrative leave status was changed from paid to unpaid, pending a Town Council inquiry into the incident.

Since then, Anderson surrendered himself to state police on Aug. 28 and was released on $2,000 personal recognizance. He is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 11 in 10th Circuit Court in Derry.

Town Councilor Mark Osborne said yesterday he didn’t expect Anderson to be fired tomorrow.

“There is no reason to think that would happen (tomorrow),” Osborne said.

Anderson’s three-year contract ends Oct. 25. If Anderson is fired “for cause” before then, 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.

He earns $124,962 a year.

But it’s still unknown when the council will decide Anderson’s fate.

“It’s an inquiry, not an investigation,” Osborne said. “It’s still ongoing; it will go on as long as it needs to.”

Budreau also would not put a timeline on the inquiry.

“I would think it would be rather expeditious,” he said. “But there are no timelines as mandated by the process.”

Town Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores said she was told she couldn’t say anything about the meeting.

“It’s a gag order,” she said. “I wish I could, but I can’t.”

But she did say she believed the meeting should be held in public.

“It’s frustrating,” she said. “The people have a right to know what’s going on. They are the taxpayers.”

Anderson did not return a call requesting comment.