SALEM — Police Deputy Chief William Ganley has appealed a disciplinary decision made by the town manager, who placed him on administrative leave in January.

What that decision was — and the investigation surrounding it — remains a secret.

Interim Town Manager Henry LaBranche said he made his decision regarding Ganley on March 5 after an administrative hearing, and informed the deputy chief of his decision by letter March 10.

Ganley has since appealed the decision and the two sides will go before an arbitrator, LaBranche said.

The appeal and arbitration will not be resolved anytime soon, LaBranche said.

"This is going to take some time," he said.

LaBranche said he could not elaborate on his decision because it is a personnel matter.

The Salem police began an internal investigation of Ganley in mid-January after Chief Paul Donovan received reports his second-in-command violated the terms of his contract.

Ganley was put on paid administrative leave after a hearing on Jan. 29. LaBranche said he has remained on paid leave since January, but according to town records, Ganley has been on leave without pay since March 5, Finance Director Jane Savastano said.

LaBranche said he could not confirm the information from the Finance Department.

"As of this moment, he is on paid leave," LaBranche said yesterday afternoon.

Between Jan. 29 and March 5, Ganley collected $6,864 in pay from the town, Savastano said.

Ganley is a 22-year veteran of the department and has served as deputy chief since 2007. He earned $103,084 in salary last year and an additional $43,557 for working police details, according to the Finance Department.

He also earned at least $3,000 working as a registered lobbyist for the New Hampshire Police Association last year, according to filings with the secretary of state.

The appeal to an arbitrator is the final phase of the grievance process, LaBranche said. That decision could be appealed to the state. Ganley is entitled to arbitration because he is a member of the Salem Professional Administrators Association.

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