Former Saugus Selectman Mark D. Mitchell, who already faces criminal charges of allegedly embezzling close to $1.3 million from a nonprofit organization, was arrested recently for an alleged domestic assault of his girlfriend. Mitchell, 52, was charged with assault and battery on a family or household member on Sept. 23 at his Lisa Lane home, according to documents filed at Lynn District Court. Saugus police responded to a 911 call at about 11:35 p.m. on Sept. 22 made by Brianna Newsom, who alleged that Mitchell “came home drunk and broke through the back slider door of the home,” Officer Jake Alfred said in an application for a criminal complaint.
“Brianna stated that her and Mark began to argue over money that Mark had stolen from her mother in the past,” the officer continued.
“Brianna then claimed that during the argument, Mark spit in her face. At this point Brianna attempted to go away from Mark by going up the stairs to her bedroom and tried to call her mother. Brianna then stated that Mark kicked in the door to her bedroom when she was talking to her mother and grabbed her right wrist, causing her phone to fall to the floor. Brianna explained that when Mark had a hold of her wrist, he had her pushed up against the bedroom wall and was yelling at her. Mark eventually let go of Brianna’s right wrist and went downstairs. Breanna then called 911. When Brianna called 911, her and Mark began to argue again and the line was left open,” according to the court document.
“Based on the information that was presented, Mark Mitchell was placed under arrest …. Assault & Battery Intimate Relationship. Mark was placed in handcuffs and transported by cruiser to the Police Department,” according to the court document.
Mitchell told police that the argument was only verbal. Newsom had no visible marks or injuries.
“Mark also claimed that Brianna has been doing drugs and showed us used needles in her bedroom,” according to Officer Alfred’s report.
The court record shows that an allegation of abuse had been filed against Mitchell and noting an abuse allegation finding.
A prosecutor for the Essex County District Attorney filed a motion to revoke Mitchell’s bail, which Judge James LaMothe denied. The prosecutor also requested a $1,000 cash bail, which the judge also denied. The judge released him on his personal recognizance. A pretrial hearing has been set for Dec. 9.
If convicted, he faces up to two and a half years in the House of Correction.
During eight years as the controller of the Boston Center for Adult Education, Suffolk County prosecutors say, Mitchell made himself a millionaire – by embezzling nearly $1.3 million. Mitchell’s Suffolk County case was scheduled for a change of plea on Sept. 27. However, Mitchell informed the court he is hiring new counsel, so the change of plea hearing did not occur. His next court date is October 14, 2022.
Mitchell was among three people indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury in July of 2019 in the theft of center funds totaling more than $1.8 million. The charges against Mitchell include:
- Making false entries in corporate books
- Publishing of false or exaggerated statements
- Common law forgery
- Common law uttering
- Three counts of forgery
- Three counts of uttering
- Four counts of larceny by scheme
Mitchell was also charged with misusing his political campaign funds for personal expenses unrelated to his campaign. Court documents show that Mitchell embezzled funds from the Committee to Elect Mark Mitchell. During 2015 and 2017, Mitchell ran for and was elected selectman for the Town of Saugus. During his 2017 campaign, Mitchell defrauded the public by mismanaging approximately $16,535 in campaign funds and stealing contributions to the committee in the amount of at least $2,530, the prosecutor alleged.