Brewer gets six months for Review embezzling

by Jess Jacob | 11/21/97 6:00am

Former Dartmouth Review Editor-in-Chief E. Davis Brewer '95 will begin a six-month jail sentence Monday for embezzling thousands of dollars from the off-campus conservative weekly.

In a hearing at the Grafton County Superior Court on Nov. 10, Brewer plead guilty to Class A misdemeanor theft. In addition to the jail sentence, which he will serve at Grafton County Jail in North Haverhill, he was fined $500.

Brewer was originally charged in February for theft by unauthorized taking in excess of $5,000, a Class A felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in jail and a $4,000 fine.

During his tenure as editor-in-chief in 1995 and 1996, Brewer is alleged to have written checks in excess of $8,500 from The Review's accounts to pay his tuition bills, among other personal expenses.

Brewer's attorney Charlie Buttrey said one of the considerations in the plea agreement was the effect a felony conviction would have on Brewer's future.

Grafton County Superior Attorney George Waldron said he agreed to the lesser charge because Brewer had no prior criminal record and had paid the restitution in full.

Brewer sent a certified check to The Review about a week before the sentencing, according to English professor Emeritus Jeffrey Hart, who is a member of The Review's board. He said Brewer probably made this move in the hope that it would be considered in the sentencing.

Brewer still owes The Review about $90, but Hart said he expects The Review will forget about it.

Hart said he thought the sentence was fair. "Brewer made out okay," he said. "Six months is not nothing, but he still stole a lot of money."

Waldron said Brewer may only have to serve four months of his sentence if he demonstrates good behavior.

Brewer, 24, an English major, did not graduate with his class and has yet to receive his diploma. If he returns to the College after his imprisonment, he may or may not be re-admitted.

Senior Associate Dean of the College said a student's eligibility for re-admission after jail time depends on the student's status in leaving the College or on any changes in status while the student was away.

He said only students who are separated from the College will not be re-admitted after jail time.

Several Dartmouth students in the past have served jail time, then returned to the College to earn their diploma, Nelson said. This includes students who have served jail sentences of a few days or several months.

The Review "discovered serious irregularities in checks drawn on The Review bank accounts" in the summer of 1996, according to a statement released by The Review last February.

After discovering that Brewer had forged checks and embezzled funds, The Review made an agreement with Brewer to repay the funds, but contacted the Hanover police when he failed to meet his monthly payment schedule.

In a statement to the Hanover police, Brewer explained that his father had lost his job so he needed the money to finance his last two terms at the College. He told the police he knows it was the wrong thing to do, but it seemed appropriate at the time.

At an arraignment in April, Brewer plead not guilty to the charges. In August, Brewer plead guilty to the charges and entered a plea agreement requesting a sentence of one year imprisonment in the house of corrections, two years of probation, and restitution.

Brewer, who was home last night in Slingerlands, N.Y. declined to comment.