Georgia Sheriff’s Chief Aide Resigns After Indictment on Auto Insurance Fraud

February 22, 2024

The former chief of staff for an Atlanta-area sheriff has resigned after he was indicted on auto insurance fraud charges.

Braxton Tyree Cotton, 42, top aide to Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens, claimed in 2023 that his Chevrolet Corvette had been smashed by a hit-and-run driver. But video evidence, cell phone data and an investigation found that the car had actually been hit by a woman that Cotton knew and who was uninsured, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Cotton eventually admitted to an investigating officer the actual circumstances of the incident, the arrest warrant showed, the AJC reported. The officer went to the woman’s home and found white paint on the bumper of her Jeep, consistent with a fender-bender. By then, though, Cotton had filed a claim with his auto insurer, indicating a hit-and-run by an unknown driver, authorities said.

After his arrest in April 2023, Cotton was placed on administrative leave. A grand jury indicted him on the charges last week and he resigned a day later, the newspaper reported. Cotton is a U.S. Army veteran and a former state trooper.