Former Warner town administrator placed on leave in Newbury

By MICHAELA TOWFIGHI

Monitor staff

Published: 04-14-2024 12:02 PM

Diane Ricciardelli, the former town administrator in Warner, was placed on administrative leave from her new job in Newbury recently after an emergency non-public select board meeting

Scott Wheeler, the chair of the Newbury Board of Selectmen, confirmed Riccardelli’s removal, but would not comment further. The minutes of the meeting from March 21 have also been sealed. 

Riccardelli began her post in Newbury in October, after serving as the Warner town administrator for three years. The end of her tenure in Warner marked a tumultuous time for the town, with two select board members resigning over the summer, leaving the town without a quorum to make decisions. 

The two board members, Christine Frost and Jody Sloane, then attempted to rescind their resignations and fire Ricciardelli. Later, a Merrimack Superior Court judge overruled this move. 

Ricciardelli had planned to depart Warner earlier than October. However, after the summer events transpired, she remained with the town to help oversee the transition period. 

No further details were available about Ricciardelli’s suspension in Newbury. At the April 1 select board meeting, residents asked about the town administrator role, however, an interim person was not appointed. Instead, town staff are covering her responsibilities. 

She will be on leave for 21 days. The board of selectmen are responsible for hiring, and firing, the town administrator, who is supposed to serve as a “chief of staff” to them. The next scheduled select board meeting in Newbury is set for Monday, April 15. 

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