TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Former Delaware County Sheriff Mark Berry was released from the Mayes County jail on a reduced bail, online court records show.

Berry was charged Friday in Cherokee Nation Tribal Court with embezzlement, court records show (below).

Typically, when a former law enforcement officer is charged with a crime they are not booked in the facility where they were employed.  

A motion hearing was held Monday where Berry’s attorney asked that his bail be reduced to $2,500, court records show.

Crystal Jackson, Berry’s attorney, did not respond to an email seeking comment on the criminal charge.

Berry is accused of using the sheriff’s department fuel card between July 2 and July 16 to purchase less than $50 worth of gasoline for a sheriff’s department vehicle and drove the vehicle to Kansas for a personal trip, according to an arrest affidavit.  Berry’s trip was approximately 992 miles.

Oklahoma law prohibits the use of county equipment or a credit card for personal use.  

When Berry returned to Delaware County, a couch was observed in the pickup’s bed.  Two Delaware County Sheriff’s deputies told Cherokee Nation investigators Berry requested them to come to his personal residence and unload the couch.

Elected officials are also prohibited from using county employees for private use, according to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission.

Berry was elected sheriff in 2020 and assumed the post after a Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training released a ruling that “no adverse action is ordered against” him on allegations he falsified information on his CLEET application.

He resigned in December at the conclusion of a meeting with Delaware County Commissioners and District Attorney Kenny Wright.  Berry never gave a reason for his resignation and since the commissioner’s meeting was held in executive session the details of the meeting are confidential and not released to the public.