Pubdate: Thu, 17 Oct 2002
Source: Austin American-Statesman (TX)
Copyright: 2002 Austin American-Statesman
Author: AP


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)--Gov. Jeb Bush's daughter was led away in handcuffs
Thursday after a judge sentenced her to 10 days in jail for violating the
terms of her drug treatment program.

Noelle Bush, 25, kissed her aunt Dorothy Koch before a sheriff's deputy
cuffed her hands behind her back. Her father, the governor, was not in the

Before she was sentenced, Noelle Bush told Circuit Judge Reginald Whitehead:
``I sincerely apologize for what happened and promise to do well at the
Center for Drug-Free Living.''

Whitehead didn't specifically give a reason in court for jailing Noelle Bush
but told her that he was aware of allegations that she was found with crack
cocaine in her shoe while at the treatment center.

The judge said he was disappointed in her but was allowing her to stay in
the program rather than returning her to the regular criminal justice

``I want you to have some time to think and reflect on this,'' he said.
``You should be disappointed that you let yourself down.''

The president's niece has been undergoing drug treatment in Orlando since
February as an alternative to going through the traditional criminal justice

She was placed in the drug court system after she was accused of trying to
use a forged prescription to buy the anti-anxiety drug Xanax at a pharmacy
drive-through in January. In July, she was sent to jail for two days after
rehabilitation center workers found her with prescription pills. Police were
called to the center last month because of reports she had crack cocaine.

In a statement released Thursday, the governor said he realizes that his
daughter must face the consequences of her actions.

``Every parent of a child with an addiction understands that the long road
to recovery is never easy and that there are numerous challenges along the
way,'' Bush said. ``This is a very difficult time for all of us ... and I
pray every day our beautiful daughter will once again know a life free from
the horrors of substance abuse.''

Orange County Jail spokesman Allen Moore said that for Noelle Bush's safety,
she will be in protective custody away from other inmates and under 24-hour

``Any high-profile person ... will normally be put in protective custody,''
Moore said. ``In this case, you have the niece of the president and the
daughter of the governor.''

Noelle Bush was sentenced on the same day President Bush was scheduled to
visit Florida to discuss education at a New Smyrna Beach elementary school
and hold a fund raiser for his brother's re-election campaign.
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