NEW: Florida prosecutors drop case against Speaker McKeeva Bush

Cayman Islands Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush will not have a misdemeanor battery charge brought against him following a July 17 incident involving a waitress at a Florida casino, according to the Florida State Attorney’s Office.

State Attorney’s Office spokesman Ron Ishoy in Broward County released the following statement Friday afternoon, after he was contacted by the Cayman Compass:  “The Broward State Attorney’s office in Fort Lauderdale filed paperwork Friday afternoon – an announcement of no information – noting that it will not file a charge of misdemeanor battery against William Bush. An explanation  of that decision will be available in the coming days.”

Mr. Bush’s Florida-based lawyer Keith Seltzer told the Compass earlier that he had been informed Friday by the state attorney’s misdemeanor crimes division that a “no information” document would be filed with the court in regard to Mr. Bush’s case.

“This record will reflect that the state has declined to prosecute Mr. Bush on a charge of battery,” Mr. Seltzer said.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by Seminole Police following Mr. Bush’s arrest, the arresting officer was contacted by Coconut Creek casino security late Monday, July 17, concerning “an incident that occurred between a casino waitress and a guest.”

Both Mr. Bush and Mr. Seltzer have argued publicly that Mr. Bush was mistakenly arrested by Seminole Police.

On Friday, Mr. Seltzer said the state attorney’s office did not have “any physical evidence” in the case with which they could obtain a conviction.

In the state of Florida, prosecutors typically have up to 21 days following a person’s arrest to determine whether to proceed with a case against the suspect. In this instance, an allegation of battery [unwanted touching] was made against the House Speaker, but he was not formally charged by authorities and did not appear before a court.

Mr. Bush returned to Cayman on Friday, July 21, after posting a US$1,000 bond following the arrest. Mr. Seltzer said that bond would now be returned, following the final disposition of the case.

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