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Jeb Bush's daughter jailed for contempt

Governor 'saddened' by development

Noelle Bush
Noelle Bush  

ORLANDO, Florida (CNN) -- Noelle Bush, the 24-year-old daughter of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, was jailed Wednesday in Orlando for violating her court-ordered drug treatment plan.

The governor said he was "saddened and disappointed" in his daughter, and he respected the judge's decision to put her in jail.

"My daughter has been drug free for four months and she's on the right path, but she is not quite there," the governor told reporters Wednesday night. "My daughter's not perfect. I love her dearly."

Randy Means, executive director of Florida's state attorney's office, told CNN Radio that the violation involved an unnamed prescription-only pill that was found in her pocket.

Noelle Bush, daughter of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and niece of George W. Bush, was jailed for violating her court-ordered drug treatment plan. CNN's John Zarrella reports (July 18)

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Karen Levey, communications director for the Florida 9th Circuit Court, said Bush "was sentenced today to three days in county jail following a court appearance" for indirect criminal contempt of court.

Noelle Bush, President Bush's niece, had been undergoing a court-ordered drug treatment program in Orlando. She is to be released Friday, when another court appearance is scheduled, Levey said.

Bush was arrested in Tallahassee in January for trying to buy Xanax, a sedative used to treat anxiety disorder, with a fake prescription. The drug can make users feel drowsy and dizzy as it reduces nervousness and tension.

Levey said all files relating to treatment of substance abusers are sealed.

Allen Moore, a spokesman for the Orange County Corrections Department, said Bush is being held in protective custody because of her prominence. She may be either sharing a cell with another person in the same status or be alone.

At the time of her January arrest, Bush told one of the officers she was due to begin a new job that day with Infinity Software Development Inc. A statement from the company said Bush was to begin a job as an entry-level human resources administrative assistant.

Noelle Bush is the only daughter of Jeb and Columba Bush. They have two sons, George and Jeb Jr.

The governor issued the following statement Wednesday:

"My family is saddened to share that our daughter Noelle has not abided by the conditions of her drug court treatment plan. Unfortunately, this happens to many individuals even as they continue their journey to full recovery.

"There are consequences for every action we take in our lives, and as her parents, Columba and I wish we could have prevented our daughter from making the wrong choices. We know there are thousands of families across Florida who share in this unfortunate experience with their own children and feel as Columba and I do today.

"We love Noelle, but she is an adult, and I respect the role of the courts in carrying out our state's drug treatment policies. Again, I would respectfully ask the media to grant my family privacy during this difficult time."




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