The lawman with a big heart, Mark Brave, could be getting a gift from prosecutors in the form of a plea agreement. Just not on Valentine’s Day as requested.
The former Strafford County Sheriff is due in Rockingham Superior Court on March 4 for a dispositional hearing, originally scheduled for Tuesday. Facing the deadline, and preparing a plea agreement offer, Assistant Attorney General Joe Fincham asked for a change to Feb. 14 hearing last week.
“The State has not yet provided Defendant with a formal plea offer in this matter due to specific details of the plea not being finalized, but the State anticipates being able to make a formal offer in the next two weeks,” Fincham wrote.
But romance is dead, and proof is the fact the court’s clerk set the date for March.
Brave is accused of stealing almost $20,000 in taxpayer money to fund his illicit love life and he faces several felony charges connected to his alleged extramarital affair-fueled thefts.
Brave was New Hampshire’s first elected Black sheriff and a rising star in the state Democratic Party until his self-inflicted scandal forced him out of the job.
Brave allegedly used his county-issued credit card to fly out of state to meet his paramours. He also booked hotel rooms and restaurants in Boston for romantic getaways and even took dates to an indoor water park. When the criminal investigation into his credit card use became public, Brave accused fellow Democrat and Strafford County Commissioner George Maglaras of being a racist.
Though Brave agreed to go on administrative leave last summer after he was indicted, the trouble did not stop. He is accused of lying to the court and violating his bail conditions.
Brave was allegedly less than truthful about how much money he had after his divorce in order to obtain a free public defender. Instead of using his money for a lawyer, Brave reportedly bought a classic 1968 Porsche and paid $50,000 to rent an apartment in the Bay State.
At the time Brave moved to his Tewksbury, Mass. apartment, he was under a bail order to live in New Hampshire. Brave allegedly got around that by giving prosecutors and court officials a false address in Dover.
When that house was discovered, Fincham told the court Brave was essentially stealing money by collecting his sheriff’s salary while living out of state. With Fincham demanding his bail be revoked and the prospect of new charges looming, Brave resigned his job last month.