October 15. 2013 10:13PM

Derry moves to oust Anderson as town administrator in wake of lewdness charges

Union Leader Correspondent

DERRY — The Town Council took steps Tuesday night to remove Town Administrator John Anderson from his position.

According to a statement released by acting Town Administrator Larry Budreau, Anderson will be asked to sign a separation agreement that would end his employment "without cause" effective Oct. 26.

Neither Anderson nor his attorney, James Rosenberg, were present when councilors met earlier in the evening for about 30 minutes in a closed-door session, Budreau said.

After the council's regular meeting, the acting administrator said he wouldn't speak beyond the two-paragraph statement. Councilors also refused to speak about the matter.

Budreau will serve as the sole spokesman for the town of Derry regarding Anderson's employment with the town, the statement said.

The move comes after Anderson, acting through his attorney, entered a plea of not guilty last week to charges of lewdness and indecent exposure for allegedly inviting a DirectTV salesman into his house on July 11 while in the nude.

"He entered a plea of not guilty," Rosenberg said. "Right now we are trying to size up the nature of the charges."

Following the alleged incident, the Derry Town Council voted in nonpublic session to stop paying Anderson, pending the outcome of a meeting with him. But after meeting last month with Anderson and his former attorney Cornelius Sullivan in a closed door session, the council took no action and voted to seal the minutes.

Rosenberg didn't comment as to why he was now representing Anderson in place of Sullivan.

A trial date has not been set, according to court staff.

Last month, Sullivan said the case shouldn't have been brought against his client since federal law affords him the right to privacy in his own home. Sullivan said the law is clear on this point.

"Whatever happened, happened in the privacy of Mr. Anderson's home," Sullivan said.

County Attorney James Reams said the state is confident in the charges and will move forward with its case against Anderson.

"We think New Hampshire law stands on pretty good ground," Reams said, adding that "as a general rule, federal law doesn't necessarily trump state law."Anderson has remained on administrative leave since July 12, the day after the alleged incident at his house. He is a former town manager from Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

The state isn't releasing the name of the DirectTV salesman to protect his privacy, Reams said.

The salesman told police that he was working in the neighborhood on July 11. He approached Anderson's house, knocked on the door, but no one answered. As he was leaving, he said he noticed an arm extending out the door and waving him back, police said.

The salesman was then invited in by a voice coming from within the house. After going inside, he said, he was confronted by a naked Anderson, who told him he was in a "nudist home," state police said. The salesman turned away, but Anderson invited him to remove his clothing and come back later for a party, according to a police affidavit.