PELHAM - Meeting in emergency session behind closed doors on Jan. 9, selectmen placed 14-year Pelham Town Administrator Tom Gaydos on administrative leave, Chairman Ed Gleason confirmed Friday.

In the same meeting one week ago, the board appointed Police Chief Joseph Roark as acting town administrator until further notice, Gleason said.

"Town administrator on administrative leave. All Issues normally directed to the administrator will be directed to Joseph Roark," stated a single line atop the agenda for the Board of Selectmen's next meeting on Tuesday.

The agenda entry represented the board's first public disclosure of Gaydos' status, and that Roark is now wearing two hats.

"Chief Roark was appointed acting administrator because he is the most senior department manager in town," said Gleason. "The chief also has a highly qualified and experienced staff in the Police Department, including Lt. Gary Fisher, or Lt. Brian McCarthy, who are quite capable of stepping forward to help out."

The Sun's attempts to reach Gaydos for a comment by email and by phone at his last known address in Manchester, N.H., were unsuccessful. An email sent to his Town Hall office Friday evening bounced back immediately, containing the message: "I will be out of the office on personal leave. I will not be checking e-mail. For immediate attention, please contact Marie, at mmaruca@pelhamweb.com or at 603-508-3074.


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The phone number given is for the selectmen's administrative assistant Marie Maruca. Gaydos, 56, was hired as town administrator in Pelham in July 2002, having worked previously for many years in Ashland, N.H., and Ossipee, N.H.. Gaydos is a native of Middlebury, Vt., and graduate of Bentley College where majored in accounting and public administration. Most recently, Gaydos worked closely with Fire Chief James Midgley and the architect and builders of the town's new $3.9 million fire station, which opened last April on the Village Green. Gaydos was also consulting frequently with New Hampshire Department of Transportation officials to provide selectmen with regular updates on the state's dual roundabouts construction project on Marsh Road.

The most turbulent time in Gaydos' Pelham tenure surrounded his Jan. 21, 2010, arrest on two charges of simple assault following a domestic incident at his home in Manchester, N.H., that involved a 50-year-old woman who lived at the same address. The woman claimed Gaydos had kicked her in the chest, screamed at her, prevented her from leaving the bedroom, took her cellphone, and pushed her twice, Manchester police Lt. Peter Bartlett reported.

Following Gaydos' arrest, then-Selectmen Chairman Bob Haverty, speaking on behalf of the board, noted the allegations against the town administrator were "not job-related, and do not involve the town or other town personnel," Haverty wrote. At the time, several Pelham Message Board posters expressed their approval of the selectmen's decision to view Gaydos' domestic difficulties as separate from his professional duties and to allow him to continue on with his duties.

"Mr. Gaydos has worked for us for awhile now. He has a difficult job, and I think he does it well," posted resident Michael Grant in January 2010. "I support Mr. Gaydos."

Sun staff reporter Rick Sobey contributed to this story.

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