The indecent exposure and lewdness charges against Anderson are misdemeanors, each punishable by up to a year in jail, Reams said. State police have handled the investigation instead of Derry police to avoid any possible conflict of interest.
Anderson, who was not present for the council’s meeting yesterday, has been on paid suspension since July 12 after the town learned of the allegations against its leader. He did not answer the door to his home yesterday.
When the charges against Anderson were announced early yesterday afternoon, the Town Council immediately scheduled an emergency meeting for 4 p.m. at Town Hall.
The council met in secret session for nearly 90 minutes, then voted unanimously to conduct its own inquiry of Anderson. The council also voted unanimously to continue Anderson’s paid suspension until the inquiry is complete.
When the council suspended Anderson on July 12, it also voted to name Larry Budreau, the town’s human resources director and assistant town administrator, as acting town administrator. Councilors also agreed he would be the only person to comment on the matter.
Those conditions remain in effect, council Chairman Michael Fairbanks said yesterday. His colleagues declined to comment yesterday as they left the council chambers.
“We really can’t say anything,” Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores said.
Budreau said after the meeting that the council wanted the chance to learn more about the charges against Anderson and to question him in person in nonpublic session, though Anderson has the right to request a public meeting.
He said he expects the inquiry will be done within the next week and another emergency meeting scheduled.
Budreau confirmed that Anderson could have been fired yesterday.
“The inquiry will be expeditious,” Budreau said. “The council wants to provide the opportunity to learn a little more and invite Mr. Anderson to participate if he chooses. ... They will decide what, if any, action to take.”
Anderson, whose three-year contract was up for renewal this fall, earns $124,962 a year. He was chosen from among 121 candidates for the job in October 2010 after serving as town manager in Boothbay, Maine, for 10 years.