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In court appearance, Strafford County sheriff pleads not guilty to theft of public money

FILE - Mark Brave smiles as he poses outside the Strafford County Courthouse, Oct. 6, 2020, in Dover, N.H. Brave, the Strafford County, N.H., sheriff, has been arrested and charged with eight felonies as part an investigation into his misuse of county credit cards, the state attorney general announced Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
Charles Krupa
The bail order for Brave (seen here in a file photo) was changed to allow him to transport his daughter to and from school in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Otherwise he's not allowed to leave New Hampshire.

Mark Brave, the Strafford County sheriff charged with using county money to fund trips amid his extramarital affairs and lying about it to a grand jury, entered a not guilty plea Thursday as he faced eight felony charges.

Brave appeared without an attorney for his arraignment in Rockingham County Superior Court, where the charges against himwere read aloud. The court entered the plea for him on the theft, falsifying evidence and perjury charges because he did not have a lawyer.

"Absolutely not guilty," Brave said after the court hearing in a brief interview.

Brave was previously represented by Shaheen and Gordon of Dover. Earlier this week, he said he hoped his attorneys could be rehired to represent him Thursday, but that didn't happen. He said Thursday he has closed on his home sale, is now renting a home in Dover and plans to rehire Shaheen and Gordon. He was given until Oct. 11 to submit proof of representation to the court.

Brave, 38, could face up to 64 years in prison if he is found guilty of all charges.

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