“In the criminal system, an arrest/booking is not evidence of guilt or wrongdoing,” he said.
He said many residents have asked him about Anderson.
“Although no one is happy about the story per se, they understand that Derry is bigger than any one person,” Osborne said.”They believe, as do I, that Derry should be, and will be judged by its charity, its sense of community, its active citizenship, its schools and safe streets.”
Other councilors did not respond to requests for comment.
Some residents are backing the three-year town administrator.
Ellie Sarcione said she is afraid Anderson has been found guilty before he even goes to court.
“Under the circumstances, we can only go by what the papers print and so to make a judgment is not fair to John Anderson,” Sarcione said. “I like John and find this most difficult to believe.”
But, Sarcione said, many people have made up their minds.
“God forbid those who are talking should walk in John’s shoes for one day,” she said. “He is ruined; his life as he knew it is over. This will haunt him the rest of his life.”
Anderson’s attorney Cornelius Sullivan said in an email his client is “adamant” about his innocence and this was the first time Anderson has been ever charged with a crime.
“I am convinced that once all of the facts in this case come to light, my client will be fully exonerated,” Sullivan said.
He said Anderson has been a valued employee of Derry for the past three years.
“Mr. Anderson stands ready to return to work as soon as the Town Council permits him to do so,” Sullivan said.
Anderson was the town administrator in Boothbay, Maine, for 10 years before coming to Derry in October 2010. He earns $124,962 a year.