Salem town manager named in second complaint

·2 min read

Aug. 30—SALEM, N.H. — A second citizen complaint involving Salem Town Manager Christopher Dillon has been submitted to county officials.

According to Strafford County Attorney Tom Velardi, the second grievance this month is being forwarded to his office by Rockingham County Attorney Patricia Conway, who cited a conflict of interest with both filings.

Velardi told The Eagle-Tribune that he's been appointed by the New Hampshire attorney general as a special prosecutor outside of his jurisdiction, but it would be premature to comment on specifics of his probe.

"At this point I'm going to treat this as I would any other open criminal investigation and try to not make any direct comments about it or release information about it to make sure the integrity of the investigation can remain intact," he said earlier in August.

Dillon has remained at work, answering to Salem selectmen and overseeing municipal departments as recently as Monday night, when he participated in a Board of Selectmen meeting.

He said Tuesday that he was not aware of any investigation.

"Postings on social media have been brought to my attention regarding complaints against me," he said. "I have not been notified by the complainers nor any authority that there is an investigation."

Newly appointed Board of Selectmen Chairperson Cathy Stacey said she has not been officially notified either.

"I am not aware that the Board of Selectmen have received any direct information from a county official regarding an investigation pertaining to the town manager," she said.

Stacey took over as the leader of the board Monday, when she and selectmen Michael Lyons and James Keller voted to remove Robert Bryant.

Selectmen have yet to discuss the investigations into Dillon publicly, but a recent non-public session regarding a town official was cited among reasons for replacing Bryant.

"I've gone through and I've cited several (mistakes) over the last 6, 8 weeks that have been pushed to the limit if not outright broken," Lyons said. "You spoke of due process for public officials. That's entirely what this is all about. And I just think, Mr. Chairman, you are too close and have too strong, personal feelings about certain things. And I've told you privately a couple times, 'You'll have no trouble from me as long as you're an honest broker,' and I think you're having trouble doing that."

Bryant responded, "Nothing I did was malicious or criminal. Nothing I did was something that the board wasn't made aware of."

Members of the public who gathered at the meeting were disallowed from speaking at the lectern after a 3-2 vote by the board, with only Bryant and Selectman Keith Stramaglia opposed.