Fair board member arrested for embezzling

ALPENA – A former Alpena County Fair Board member was arrested Friday for embezzlement.

Bradley Avery was arrested at his home after the Alpena County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of embezzlement from the Fair Board on Feb. 8.

A statement from the Sheriff’s Office stated the fair board suspected the Avery, who was the Fair Board treasurer, of embezzling money from the organization over a span of three years.

An investigation was completed with the assistance of the accounting firm Straley, Lamp and Kraenzlein. After review by the Alpena County prosecutor, a six-count felony warrant was issued for the arrest of Avery. He is currently lodged at the Alpena County Jail on a $40,000 cash or surety bond.

Avery could not be reached for comment on Friday.

In a joint letter to the community, the members of the Fair Board stated they felt betrayed.

“It is in this spirit of unity and understanding that we persist in bringing our community together,” the statement said. “The last thing our community needs is further division. We have all been in a situation, either personally or professionally, where we put our trust in the wrong person.”

The board members said they alerted the authorities immediately after the situation came to their attention and they have cooperated fully since.

“We immediately removed the member in question from the board,” the letter says. “Rest assured that the Alpena County Fair Board is also implementing certain protocols to ensure this type of betrayal will never happen again.”