Kountze City Councilman charged with felony theft after pocketing client's money

Kountze City Councilman Ira Braneff turned himself in to the Hardin County Jail Sunday morning on one charge of Theft of Property. He posted $10,000 bond for the State Jail Felony charge. 

According to a probable cause affidavit, Braneff confessed to pocketing more than $3,000 paid to him for the purchase of a gravestone. Braneff owns Big Thicket Memorials.   

The affidavit says the money was paid by the mother of Keiron Edwards, a Kountze High School student killed in a January car accident. The affidavit says she was given numerous excuses as to why the gravestone had not arrived after almost three months. 

If convicted of the crime Braneff faces up to two years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.  


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