New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said Strafford County Sheriff Mark Brave submitted $19,000 in personal travel and other expenditures to the country for reimbursement, including a made-up trip to visit Rep. Chris Pappas in Washington.

During a media briefing Thursday afternoon, Formella said Brave put in for dinner, airfare, and hotel expenditures during trips to Boston, Florida, and other locations. The sheriff also falsified documents, including receipts that were altered.

"Sheriff Brave is alleged to have deceived Strafford County officials and attempted to hide the personal nature of these credit card purchases by falsifying one receipt to remove the identity of a female companion and by submitting numerous false justification for reimbursements such as attending conferences and meetings that he did not attend, that did not exist, and for organizations that did not exist," Formella said.

Brave is charged with theft by deception (a class A felony), two counts of falsifying physical evidence (both class B felonies), and five counts of perjury for lying in his testimony before the Strafford County Grand Jury during the course of the investigation.

Strafford County Sheriff Mark Brand
Strafford County Sheriff Mark Brand (Strafford County Sheriff's Office)

One of the perjury charges involved a trip to Florida the sheriff took with a woman who works in the Sheriff's Office. She initially took investigators she stayed with family, but then changed her story and said she stayed in the same room with Brave. Under questioning, Formella said Brave did not change his story about where the woman stayed.

Mark Brave is married to Jamie Brave, who was chief nursing officer at Fribie Hospital in Rochester.

Another perjury involved a Washington D.C. visit with Pappas. Brave told investigators that the Democrat canceled their meeting and gave him a flag that had flown over the Capitol as an apology. Pappas' schedule does not show a meeting with Brave, and no gift was given. Instead, Brave visited with a "paramour" who lived in the area, according to Formella.

Brave also claimed to be attending a fundraiser in Boston, but actually went on a cruise the night of his paramour's birthday.

“The decision to charge an elected constitutional officer was not made lightly,” Formella said. “However, no person is above the law, and the evidence in this case required action. It is my hope that the public will be reassured that there will be equal justice under the law for every person in this State – including public officials.”

Brave told WMUR he denied the allegations, and will not step down.

"I know I did nothing wrong, and I'm going to continue to fight," Brave told WMUR.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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