Strafford County Sheriff Mark Brave, the only Black sheriff in New Hampshire who gained attention during his 2020 campaign, finds himself in a significant legal predicament.
The state’s attorney general has announced that Brave has been arrested and charged with eight felonies following an investigation into allegations of misusing county credit cards.
The charges against Brave include one count of theft by deception, involving approximately $19,000 of county funds, which he is accused of taking through reimbursement claims for personal expenses with fabricated justifications.
Additionally, he faces two counts of falsifying physical evidence and five counts of perjury. The perjury charges stem from his alleged false testimony before the Strafford County Grand Jury.
The Attorney General, John Formella, emphasized that the decision to bring charges against an elected constitutional officer is serious and comes after thorough consideration of the evidence. Formella stated that the evidence warranted these actions and underlined that no one is above the law.
Brave, however, maintains his innocence, characterizing the charges as politically motivated and unjust. Despite the charges against him, he has no intention of stepping down from his role as sheriff.
He attributes the push for his resignation to political agendas and remains determined to fight the charges.
The charges against Brave revolve around allegations of submitting false justifications for reimbursements, including claims of attending conferences and meetings that never occurred.
One instance of perjury involves a Florida trip with a female employee, where Brave and the employee’s testimonies allegedly diverge significantly.
Another perjury charge relates to a purported meeting with a congressman and the acquisition of a U.S. Capitol flag. The investigation revealed discrepancies in these claims.
Brave’s assertion of his innocence contrasts sharply with the formal charges and evidence presented by the Attorney General’s office.
His social media posts indicating his surrender for processing and his intent to face trial further underscore the seriousness of the situation.
As the legal proceedings unfold, Brave’s case will be closely watched not only for its potential impact on his personal and political future but also for its broader implications regarding the accountability of elected officials.