Recently retired ADP CEO arrested a few days before Nov. 9 retirement announcement

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Recently retired ADP CEO Gary C. Butler was charged with criminal domestic violence earlier this month after his wife told deputies he grabbed her by the neck during an argument at their South Carolina home.

Butler, 65, was arrested Nov. 6, two days before he told Automatic Data Processing Inc. that he was retiring. The Roseland, N.J., payroll processor then announced his retirement Nov. 9 and did not mention the arrest.

ADP said in an email that Butler told the board Nov. 8 he had decided to retire for personal reasons and was resigning from the board. The company said the board was aware of the “circumstances surrounding his decision.”

“Out of respect for his privacy, ADP is not commenting further,” the e-mail said.

Butler did not return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment. He had spent 37 years with the company and served as CEO since 2006.

Butler’s wife, Marion, told the Beaufort County (S.C.) Sheriff’s Office that she and her husband had been arguing when they went out to dinner on Nov. 6. She said her husband was drinking during dinner and continued to drink when they got back to their home in Bluffton, near Hilton Head Island, according to Sgt. Robin McIntosh of the sheriff’s office.

Marion Butler, 58, said she started packing for the couple’s return to their New Jersey home. Her husband came into the bedroom and lay on a bed while they argued. Marion Butler told deputies her husband suddenly leapt out of the bed, grabbed her neck with both hands and “she felt like her bones were going to break,” McIntosh said.

Marion Butler told deputies her husband then grabbed her wrists and threw her against a bureau before she fled from the house.

Officers found Butler sitting alone on the front steps when they arrived, and they smelled a strong odor of alcohol on him, according to McIntosh. He told them that he and his wife had argued, but it did not become physical.

Officers said Marion Butler’s neck was red, but she did not have injuries that needed medical attention. Her husband was charged with first-degree criminal domestic violence, a misdemeanor.

Butler told ADP he was retiring the same day shareholders had re-elected him to a one-year term on ADP’s board of directors at the company’s annual meeting.

ADP named President and Chief Operating Officer Carlos A. Rodriguez to replace Butler under a succession plan that had been established by its board. Rodriguez, 47, joined the company in 1999 and was named president and chief operating officer in May.

ADP is 275th on the 2011 Fortune 500 list. It said late last month that new clients from both core growth and acquisitions pushed its fiscal first-quarter profit up 9 percent. ADP reported earnings of $302.7 million, or 61 cents per share, as revenue rose 13 percent to $2.52 billion.

ADP shares climbed 16 cents to $50.19 in Friday afternoon trading, while the Nasdaq exchange fell slightly.

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