Sheriff pleads not guilty to theft, perjury and falsifying evidence

By Associated Press

Published: 09-29-2023 1:09 PM

A New Hampshire sheriff accused of stealing $19,000 in county funds pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of theft, perjury and falsifying evidence.

Strafford County Sheriff Mark Brave is accused of using his county credit card to pay for travel to fictitious business meetings with multiple paramours and then lying about it to a grand jury. He was arrested last month and made an initial court appearance Thursday, where he spoke only to request that his bail conditions be modified to allow him to bring his daughter to and from school in Massachusetts. Prosecutors agreed to the request.

Brave, a Democrat elected in 2020 as New Hampshire’s first Black sheriff, said after his arrest that he was innocent and that none of his spending was “due to deceive the county or the people of Strafford County.” He has called the allegations politically and racially motivated. County commissioners, all of whom also are Democrats, have denied his claims.

Brave, who was paid about $83,000 in salary and overtime last year, is on paid leave.

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