After the Strafford County Commissioners issued an ultimatum, Sheriff Mark Brave is taking paid administrative leave.

The commissioners held a special meeting Monday to discuss the theft and perjury charges from Attorney General John Formela. It was also announced that a $600 check Brave wrote following a charity golf tournament in June to support the Strafford County's Riverside Rest Home bounced.

The board unanimously passed a resolution "asking" Brave to take the administrative leave offered to him Thursday when the charges were first announced.  Because he is an elected official, they cannot demand he step down.  However, the commissioners said they would start proceedings to remove him from office if he did not take the offer by noon on Tuesday.

"We hope Sheriff Brave reconsiders the offer. We all considered him a friend, he has the presumption of innocence, and we think he should take the time off to prepare his defense," Chair George Maglaras said after the vote.

The board said that the conditions of Brave's bail make it difficult for him to do his job since he is not allowed to contact members of the county administration staff or carry a gun. His county-issued credit card has been canceled.

On his X account, the former social media platform known as Twitter, Brave stated that he has made the "difficult decision" to take administrative leave.

"While I maintain that I am innocent, and none of my spending of out-of-state line items was due to deceive the county or the people of Strafford County, I do want to make sure that the wonderful team at SCSO is able to function without added stressors to their already difficult," Brave wrote. "I do not want to add any distractions to their lines of duties."

Brave also said his "mental and physical health has taken a turn", and he needs to start thinking about himself and his daughter.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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