DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

December 12, 2013

Anderson's trial delayed two months

By Doug Ireland
direland@derrynews.com

---- — DERRY — It will be at least two more months before a judge decides whether former Town Administrator John Anderson is guilty of lewd conduct.

Meanwhile, the 50-year-old Anderson — terminated by the Town Council in October maintains in newly filed court documents that he had no way of knowing he would offend a satellite TV salesman who came to the door of the naked town administrator’s home early one evening in July.

Anderson and his attorney, James Rosenberg, question why the salesman remained in the Lane Road home for at least 10 minutes while the town administrator was not wearing any clothes.

They say Anderson cannot be convicted of a crime under state law unless the prosecution proves Anderson “engaged in conduct which ‘he or she know will likely cause affront or alarm.’”

Instead of leaving, the unidentified DIRECTV salesman continued his sales pitch and gave Anderson his phone number and a brochure, saying he could call him, they said. The salesman allegedly told Anderson he would be in the area until 8 that night.

But the salesman later reported the encounter, and Anderson was arrested by state police on two counts of indecent exposure and lewdness. Each count is punishable by up to a year in the county jail.

Anderson is accused of asking the salesman to take off his clothes as well, according to a police affidavit.

The salesman also told police that Anderson masturbated in front of him and said it was a “nudist” household. The Town Council voted the next day to place Anderson on administrative leave and dismissed him without cause three months later, opting not to renew his contract once it expired Oct. 31.

Details of the encounter were to be the central focus of Anderson’s trial, originally set for Dec. 13 in 10th Circuit Court in Derry. A scheduling conflict resulted in the trial recently being postponed until Feb. 7.

“It is hard to understand how Mr. Anderson could have known the salesman to be affronted or alarmed during an incident that occurred within the privacy of his own home,” Rosenberg said in a court motion.

The rescheduling will give Anderson and his attorney more time to seek information from DIRECTV as they seek to prove the former town administrator’s innocence. The two did not return calls seeking comment.

Their motion, filed in late November, asks the court to order the company to provide information on its policies, procedures and training manuals. DIRECTV declined to supply the information sought through an earlier subpoena.

Assistant County Attorney Kirsten Wilson, who is prosecuting the case, has objected to the request as well, saying it is irrelevant.

Anderson, who earned $124,962 as town administrator, remains free on $2,000 personal recognizance. He was awarded more than $40,000 in severance pay by the town and had been on paid leave for five weeks until the council placed him on unpaid leave Aug. 20.

Anderson had been town administrator since October 2010. He was previously the town administrator in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.

The seven-member council is divided on plans to seek a new administrator.