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SHIRLEY — Selectman Kendra Dumont says she blew the whistle on Shirley Town Administrator Kyle Keady when she discovered he had secretly recorded an August 2009 conversation he had with her.

The salacious allegations that Keady was secretly photographing women in the ladies room at the Town Offices and digitally adding his assistant’s picture to photos of nude bodies surprised Dumont when he was arrested Monday, she said.

“I never had any idea I was opening this up,” she said.

Keady, 46, was arrested the same night he was scheduled to have a job-performance evaluation.

Keady was the final choice of Pepperell selectmen when they were searching for a town administrator to replace retiring Robert Hanson. Keady turned down the job when contract talks broke down.

Keady was arraigned Tuesday in Ayer District Court on charges of wiretapping, possession of a wiretap device, and photographing an unsuspecting nude person.

Keady’s normally well-groomed hair was tussled as he walked into court handcuffed and shackled. He was dressed in a suit, but without his customary tie.

“The defendant, at least nine months or longer, has lived a life of deceit and deception,” said Assistant District Attorney John C. Verner.

Verner portrayed Keady as suspicious of whom he could trust. Ironically, two of the people he allegedly tried to secretly record were considered two of his closest co-workers.

Among the biggest surprises announced in court was Keady’s fascination with his executive assistant.

In addition to digitally adding her picture on nudes, Keady is alleged to have photographed her undergarments without her knowledge, Verner said.

“He admitted he went into that person’s home when nobody was home,” Verner said.

Police searching Town Offices found a camera in a pen with audio ability hidden in a vent above a stall in the second floor-ladies room, he said.

The batteries would only last 60 to 90 minutes so Keady would sneak into the bathroom to put fresh batteries in, Verner said.

Police also found a few dozen USB drives, including nine in Keady’s pocket, containing pictures of female body parts, Verner said.

There were hundreds or thousands of photos taken, he said.

A court document says the photos were taken in the area of Keady’s office.

Keady admitted he hid a digital recorder in a potted plant in his assistant’s office, Verner said.

“Mr. Keady stated that on or about June 2, 2010, he activated this recorder and hid it in a plant on (the assistant’s) desk without her knowledge or consent for the purpose of recording conversations occurring within her office area,” according to court documents. “Again, Mr. Keady stated that he did this to ‘educate’ himself and stated that he did not trust many people and this was a means to learn information.”

Verner said there is evidence Keady recorded at least one other selectman during the nine-month span but did not elaborate during court proceedings. Immediately following the court hearing, Verner declined to comment further about the case.

Dumont said she learned of the secret recording May 24.

She was listening to an audio transcript of a Board of Selectmen’s executive session, but when the session was over, the tape continued with a recording of a private conversation she had with Keady around Aug. 6, 2009, Dumont said.

“I was floored,” she said.

Dumont did not know if Keady had also recorded other selectmen to influence decision-making. Concerned about the recording, Dumont talked to town attorney Gary Brackett, of Worcester.

“I wanted to protect the town,” Dumont said. “I don’t know what his purpose was or what he’s going to use these tapes for but I took my oath to serve the town and protect the town.”

Brackett notified District Attorney Gerald Leone’s office last week, which handed the case over to State Police.

State Police swooped in on Town Offices Monday about 4:50 p.m. and Keady quickly admitted that he had secretly taped conversations with six to eight people during the last nine months, said Assistant District Attorney John C. Verner during the arraignment.

Police went through the ceilings, pulled desks from walls, flipped through files and took three computers from Keady’s and his assistant’s offices, said Board of Selectmen Chairman Armand “Andy” Deveau. Police also searched Keady’s home.

Court documents not read in court say Keady admitted he recorded “numerous conversations in the past without the consent or knowledge of the other person but that he was unaware that he was violating any laws.”

Police searching Town Offices found a baby monitor hidden above ceiling tiles in Town Accountant Bobbi Jo Colburn’s office with a power cord leading to Keady’s second-floor office, which was hidden by maps on the wall, according to a court document.

The Board of Selectmen may determine Keady’s employment fate when it meets in executive session Thursday night at 7:30 to discuss his arrest.

Keady has been town administrator about seven years and was a selectman for about 15 years before that.

Previously, he had spent a 15-year career working for the state, including eight as an assistant treasurer under former state treasurers Joe Malone and Shannon O’Brien, said public defender Dudley C. Goar, who represented Keady during the arraignment.

More charges may be filed against Keady for breaking into his executive assistant’s home and more instances of wiretapping, Verner said.

Judge Peter J. Kilmartin ordered Keady to stay away from the executive assistant, Colburn, all public buildings including Town Offices and the selectmen unless he is invited to a meeting.

Keady was released on $2,500 cash bail. His next scheduled court appearance is July 7.