DOVER, N.H. – A New Hampshire sheriff has been arrested and charged with eight felonies as half an investigation into his misuse of county bank cards, the state legal professional normal introduced Thursday.
Strafford County Sheriff Mark Courageous, who campaigned in 2020 to be the state’s solely Black sheriff, is charged with one rely of theft by deception for stealing about $19,000 in county funds by submitting reimbursement for private bills with false justifications; two counts of falsifying bodily proof; and 5 counts of perjury for mendacity in his testimony earlier than the Strafford County Grand Jury, Lawyer Common John Formella mentioned.
“The decision to charge an elected constitutional officer is not one that is made lightly and it’s not a place that we ever want to be. However no person is above the law and the evidence in this case required the actions that we are taking today,” the attorney general said.
Brave insisted that he has done nothing wrong and will fight the charges.
“I’m not stepping down because I believe this is unfair. This is just an attack on me politically,” Courageous instructed The Related Press. “The commissioners wanted me to step down from the get-go. I know I am not guilty of anything, and I refuse to give the commissioners what they wanted from the get-go.”
Formella mentioned Courageous submitted quite a few false justifications for reimbursements “such as attending conferences and meetings that he did not attend, that did not exist and for organizations that did not exist,” he said.
One perjury charge involved a female employee who traveled to Florida with Brave and said she stayed with family but later admitted to the grand jury that she stayed in Brave’s hotel room with him, which Brave denied to the grand jury. Brave is also accused of lying about trips to Maryland, saying he was scheduled to meet with Congressman Chris Pappas, but that Pappas canceled and gave him a flag that flew over the U.S. capitol.
“Records from congressman’s office indicate that no such meeting was ever scheduled and no such gift was ever given,” Formella mentioned. “Rather, based on investigation, on this trip Sheriff Brave is alleged to have actually met a paramour who lived in the area.”
Courageous is also accused of mendacity to the grand jury a few dinner cruise and lodge keep in Boston, saying he purchased the tickets upfront for him and a male deputy to attend a charity fundraiser when the investigation confirmed that Courageous allegedly purchased the tickets on the identical day because the cruise for himself and one other paramour, Formella mentioned.
The investigation is continuous, he mentioned.
Courageous posted on Fb earlier within the day that he had turned himself in for pictures and fingerprinting. He was launched on a private recognizance bond. Courageous is anticipated to be arraigned in a number of days.
“I will continue to serve the people of Strafford County to the best of my ability and will sit before a jury of my peers,” he wrote.
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