A trial date of Oct. 11 has been set for Town Administrator John Anderson on two counts of indecent exposure and lewdness. Anderson, 50, turned himself in at the New Hampshire State Police Troop B Barracks in Bedford on Tuesday, Aug. 27, after a warrant for his arrest was issued last week. He was formally charged and is free on personal recognizance.
Anderson was charged with the two counts after allegedly exposing himself to a DirecTV salesman at Anderson’s Lane Road home on Thursday, July 11, as previously reported by the Nutfield News.
He was placed on paid administrative leave by the Town Council and the case was turned over by the Derry Police to the State Police for investigation on July 12. They in turn sent the case to the Rockingham County Attorney for review, leading to the two charges and an arrest warrant. Anderson was charged with the crimes Aug. 16.
On Aug. 22, the Town Council changed Anderson’s leave to unpaid status. He has been town administrator in Derry for three years, and previously worked at a similar post in Boothbay, Maine. The Town Council awarded Anderson a 2 percent raise June 24.
According to State Police Capt. David Parenteau of the Investigative Services Bureau, Anderson has been in Maine and his attorney has been on vacation, leading to the delay in serving the warrant.
The charges are misdemeanors under New Hampshire statute RSA 645:1. If found guilty, Anderson will face a $1,000 fine and maximum sentence of 12 months at the Rockingham County House of Correction in Brentwood.
Assistant Town Administrator Larry Budreau has assumed Anderson’s duties while the Council conducts its own inquiry. Meanwhile, Cornelius Sullivan, Anderson’s attorney, issued a statement Tuesday that he said he hopes will clear up inaccuracies relating to his client.
Some media reports had referred to the potential for requiring extradition of Anderson from Maine, although the Nutfield News never did so. “There never was any need for the prosecution in this case to consider extradition,” he said.
“From day one we have expressed our willingness to cooperate with the authorities on this case. Ironically, it was the defense that initiated contact with the state and local police in mid-July concerning this case. We then waited more than a month for the investigation in this case to be completed and for a determination to be made as to whether any charges would issue.”
Sullivan continued, “When I was notified late in the day on Aug. 16 that the state would be pursuing misdemeanor charges against Mr. Anderson, I advised the state police that my client was out-of-state visiting family and friends and that it would be impossible for him to return before the close of business on that date. I was leaving on a family vacation the following day and requested, and the state police agreed, that upon my return from vacation, Mr. Anderson and I be permitted to appear at the state police barracks in Bedford so that the misdemeanor charges against Mr. Anderson could be formally processed.” This took place as planned on Aug. 27.
Sullivan also expressed disappointment about the State Police “leaking” information to the press, while allegedly refusing to provide the defense with details concerning the allegations. Sullivan wrote that because of this, he will conduct formal discovery as the case progresses.
Sullivan concluded, “This is the first time that Mr. Anderson has ever been charged with any kind of a criminal matter. Mr. Anderson is adamant of his innocence in this case and I am convinced that once all of the facts in this case come to light, my client will be fully exonerated.”
Anderson’s trial is set for Oct. 11 in Derry District Court.
“As the Town Administrator for the Town of Derry for the last three years, Mr. Anderson has been a valued employee and worked hard on behalf of and with the Town Council to formulate balanced budgets during the past recession and to bring town construction projects in on time and under budget,” Sullivan said. “Mr. Anderson stands ready to return to work as soon as the Town Council permits him to do so.
“On behalf of my client, I also would like to thank all of the citizens of Derry who have offered their kind words of encouragement and support to Mr. Anderson during the last several weeks,” he concluded. “Mr. Anderson has been humbled by that show of support and looks forward to being able to return to work serving the Town Council and the citizens of Derry.”