Port Manatee chief cleared in domestic battery case

skennedy@bradenton.comOctober 15, 2013 

MANATEE -- A domestic battery charge has been dropped against Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras.

No action will be taken on a charge in connection with Buqueras' arrest Sept. 7 after his wife, Kimberly, retracted her accusations, according to a memo from Assistant State Attorney Jeffrey Siegal.

"The victim recanted and said the defendant did not hit her, and rather, she fell from coming out of the pool," Siegal wrote.

A law enforcement officer observed red abrasions on her back, but Kimberly Buqueras explained it by saying she had fallen as she attempted to climb out of the pool.

"She stated that she 'flipped out' on the defendant, which culminated from a mixture of alcohol and precribed narcotics," Siegal wrote.Siegal confirmed her intoxication through the 911 call she had placed, he wrote.

"She also wrote to the court on a letter titled 'Request for Withdrawal from Prosecution,' that '(she) was on medications; I had been drinking and now that my head is clear, I realized he

never even touched me,'" the memo said.

Buqueras made no admission on calls his wife made to him in jail, wrote Siegal.

A female houseguest who was visiting the Buqueras' Parrish home never saw the port director touch his wife, the memo said.

Should the state receive additional information, the filing decision may be reviewed, he wrote.

Buqueras' attorney, Greg Hagopian, said his client would not comment.

"His wife has maintained no battery had occurred, no crime had occurred, and the state agreed," said Hagopian.

"He's obviously very relieved to put this behind him. He looks forward to focusing on his work," Hagopian said of the port director.

Buqueras' arrest was among a string of legal troubles that have plagued the port's administrative staff in the past few months.

In July, Robert J. Armstrong, Port Manatee deputy executive director and chief financial officer, was charged with a second-degree felony for accessory after the fact after his son, who also worked at the port, was charged with stealing property belonging to the port.

The elder Armstrong was fired in connection with the case.

Both men have pleaded not guilty.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service