Pubdate: Wed, 11 Sep 2002
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2002 The Washington Post Company
Author: Manuel Roig-Franzia


Governor's Daughter In Treatment

MIAMI, Sept. 10 -- A two-gram rock of crack cocaine was found inside the 
shoe of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's 25-year-old daughter by workers at the 
central Florida rehabilitation center where she is undergoing court-ordered 
drug treatment, Orlando police said today.

Noelle Bush was not arrested because witnesses would not give sworn 
statements, but the incident is under investigation, according to Orlando 
police spokesman Orlando Rolon.

Bush entered a drug treatment program in February, one month after she was 
charged with a third-degree felony for allegedly trying to buy the 
anti-anxiety drug Xanax with a fake prescription at a drive-through 
pharmacy in Tallahassee, the state capital.

She was jailed for three days in July for violating the terms of her 
court-ordered treatment program after rehabilitation center workers 
discovered that she was carrying prescription pills.

Word of the incident spread Tuesday morning during a chaotic primary 
election day in Florida, where Gov. Bush was inundated with complaints 
about voting machines not working and alleged voting irregularities.

"This is a private matter as it relates to my daughter and myself and my 
wife," Gov. Bush told reporters. "The road to recovery is a rocky one for a 
lot of people that have this kind of problem."

A resident at the Center for Drug-Free Living in Orlando, where Noelle Bush 
is being treated, called police late Monday evening and told officers that 
"the governor's daughter was caught" with drugs, a police report says. In 
May, Noelle Bush had requested a transfer to the center, which court 
officials in Orange County say has a 75 percent success rate.

When officers arrived at the center, two staff members told them that they 
had searched Noelle Bush after several residents complained about her, the 
report says. Staff members also told the officers that residents are warned 
that they can be searched at any time.

The white rock that staff members found in Noelle Bush's shoe tested 
positive for crack cocaine, the report says.

One of the staff members -- Julia Elias -- began writing a statement about 
the incident, but tore it up and threw it away after her supervisor -- 
Wilma Accison -- called and told her not to speak with the police, the 
report says. The officers picked up the torn statement and logged it as 

Later, the program director, Joyce G. Brulon, arrived and told officers 
that the center typically handles such incidents in-house, rather than 
contacting police, the report states. Brulon's statement was contradicted 
by one of her staff members, Sandra J. Williams, who told officers that the 
center's policy requires such matters to be referred to the police, the 
report says.
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