DERRY — In an emergency meeting on Friday afternoon, the Town Council unanimously voted to place Town Administrator John Anderson on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a New Hampshire State police criminal investigation.
During the meeting, the council also voted to make Assistant Town Administrator Larry Budreau acting administrator while Anderson is on paid leave. Budreau also will be the sole spokesman for the town regarding the investigation into Anderson.
When contacted, both police Capt. Vernon Thomas and Town Councilor Mark Osborne referred inquiries to Budreau.
Budreau said he could not provide any specific details on the investigation.
"Certain allegations against the town administrator were brought to the town's attention," said Budreau. "These allegations did not involve the town and were referred to the New Hampshire State Police."
Budreau added that the local police department referred the case to state police.
Pending further investigation, Budreau said Anderson will be on paid administrative leave, as outlined under the town charter. Anderson's salary is about $120,000 this year.
How long Anderson remains on paid leave depends on the length of the investigation, he said.
Friday afternoon's emergency Town Council meeting was scheduled during the day as a nonpublic meeting, but Budreau said the meeting was then opened to the public.
During the meeting, Budreau said the council chairman read the three resolutions to place Anderson on paid leave and appoint Budreau as acting administrator and spokesperson for town.
Anderson has been town administrator for just under three years, having been unanimously appointed by the Town Council in September 2010. Prior to taking over for Gary Stenhouse in Derry in 2010, Anderson was town manager in Boothbay, Maine, for a decade.
Budreau is also the town's human resources director. In 2011, the Town Council approved handing Budreau the additional title of assistant town administrator at Anderson's recommendation. The new title came with a $5,000 pay raise, to a salary of $98,000.