Bush files ‘not guilty’ plea in Florida arrest

The lawyer for Cayman Islands Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush filed a written “not guilty” plea Wednesday to an allegation of battery against Mr. Bush, according to Broward County, Florida court records.

“The defendant hereby enters a plea of not guilty, requests a trial by jury, hereby waives formal arraignment and requests 15 days for the filing of appropriate defensive motions,” the plea record states.

Mr. Bush, 62, was arrested Monday night at a casino in Coconut [*] Creek, Florida, just north of Fort Lauderdale.

According to a statement from the Seminole Police Department, surveillance video at the Coconut [*] Creek casino showed “Mr. Bush allegedly wrapped his arm around [a female casino employee’s] lower back and forcefully pulled the victim towards his direction. According to the arresting officer, the victim alleged [Mr. Bush] grabbed her buttocks while pulling her with his right arm.”

Seminole Police declined to release the video.

The Florida State Attorney’s Office in Broward County said Thursday that no court date had been set and that prosecutors must still decide whether to move forward with formal charges.

“The police will present their case, we’ll look at all of the facts and we’ll determine, within 21 days, whether or not to file the charge,” said Kristi Grimm, a media assistant with the prosecutor’s office.

Mr. Bush’s attorney, Keith Seltzer, said the allegations against Mr. Bush were made by “one person” and that his client had not been formally charged under Florida state law.

In Florida, Mr. Bush faces misdemeanor battery, which is defined under the state’s criminal code: “The offense of battery occurs when a person, 1) Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or, 2) Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.” Upon conviction, the charge carries a maximum one-year jail sentence or a US$1,000 fine.

Politics

The Cayman Islands coalition government, of which Mr. Bush is a part as both a member of the Legislative Assembly and the House Speaker, has not commented.

Premier Alden McLaughlin did not respond to messages seeking comment. Mr. McLaughlin’s press secretary, Tammie Chisholm, said the government would have “no comment” about the arrest.

At least one member of the opposition benches raised the possibility of calling an ethics committee hearing of the House in response to the arrest, but opposition members had not commented as a group by press time.

“I think that’s a question for the premier and his government,” Deputy Opposition Leader Alva Suckoo said Thursday.

 

[*] Editor’s note: Corrects location of the casino where Mr. Bush’s arrest occurred.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I am glad the Premier did not respond to messages seeking comment, and makes NO comment about the arrest.
    Finally we have put together a Government that want to work for the best interest of the people, yet there are some who still carry grudges and long switches who would like to nail the Honorable Speaker to the cross.
    Let us now sit back and see how many has a nail, a spear and some vinegar.

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  2. Does anyone know if Mr. Bush, both a member of the Legislative Assembly and the House Speaker of the Cayman Islands was using his personal or government credit card while gambling in the Casino prior to his arrest and if the bail was paid out of his personal or government funds?

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  3. Ms Vargas , I have to disagree with the comment . Mr Bush is nailing himself to that cross , no one forced him to go to the casino or do anything he has done . He is 62 years old and he should have learned his lessons .

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  4. Twyla, in this case I must vehemently disagree. If proven, the Speaker’s conduct is in the WORST interests of the people, bringing the Cayman Islands Govt. and not just himself, into disrepute.

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  5. This should show us that we should be very careful about protecting and defending of anyone regardless of whom it maybe , we need to be able to see when someone is wrong and say it’s wrong , because two wrongs don’t make a right .

    We would never be able to correct anyone’s bad behaviour and actions if we don’t say what is , and chastise / punish them for doing wrong .
    I still believe in the old School , if you did wrong you got punished , if you did good you got rewarded .

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