Kruse to be Charged with One Count of DUI

Staff Report
BRADENTON — Last month, TBT reported that Manatee County Commissioner George Kruse was being investigated for driving under the influence after crashing into a tree near his home in Greyhawk Landing. The State Attorney's Office for the 12th Judicial Circuit announced Wednesday that the commissioner will be charged with a single count of Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

"Due to the public interest shown in the case and in response to our frequent media inquiries about the status of this case, today the State Attorney’s Office announces that an Information is being filed charging George K. Kruse with a single count of Driving Under the Influence (DUI),” read a statement from Kiah Evans, Media Specialist for State Attorney Ed Brodsky’s office.

"The arraignment is scheduled for July 19, 2022, and in accordance with applicable Florida law, a summons will be issued for George K. Kruse,” the statement continued. "Please bear in mind all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The State Attorney’s Office will not be making any comments while this case is pending.”

The incident took place on April 20. The Herald-Tribune originally reported that Kruse was under investigation. Bodycam footage from the responding officer published by TBT showed Kruse in what appeared to be an extremely inebriated state at the time of the crash. 

However, the deputy that was first to arrive on the scene did not conduct any sort of DUI investigation and allowed Kruse’s wife to drive him home from the scene without performing a field sobriety test or administering a breathalyzer, despite telling the second officer on the scene that the commissioner was clearly inebriated. 


CLICK ON ICONS TO SHARE
Reader Comments
GRW
JUN 24, 2022  •  They charged Pelosi's husband for DUI after just a few short weeks, yet only as the States Attorney mostly admitted after much public interest and inquiry they will charge Kruse after months of investigation.
Angela Bass
JUN 23, 2022  •  He should be FIRED from Commissioner. He will absolutely get away with the DUI . A DISGRACE and this joker makes planning committee decisions. How about he makes a decision not to DRIVE DRUNK !!
Paula
JUN 23, 2022  •  So you can get paid six figures, cheat on your wife and drive drunk to be a commissioner and keep your job. Disgraceful
Cat L
JUN 23, 2022  •  Happy charges are being filed, but I can't help wondering if anything would have happened had the story not broken.
Jim
JUN 23, 2022  •  Good job TBT! I posted a link to your story (with my own summary) on my favorite "progressive" blog, Wonkette. Good job by the Herald and Bradenton Journal, too.
Jim
JUN 23, 2022  •  Interesting that the driver appears in the video only in the very beginning. I think the best reveal is after 21:00 when the LEO "lectures" the wife. The LEO knew exactly who the driver was. Had the driver been you, or me, we would be in jail. P.S. "Nice" of the LEO to provide us with some music while he looks at paperwork from the glove box. Whistling to accompany his dishonesty.
HK
JUN 22, 2022  •  Will this equal accountability? Consequences? How did Manatee get so lucky to have such a stellar group of defunct commissioners?
Bob
JUN 22, 2022  •  Lock him up! And vote for a new Sherriff!
David Daniels
JUN 22, 2022  •  To Jennifer No Last Name. You make a good point that a breathalyzer can't be forced in this situation. But certainly Lieutenant Pruitt could have done more to collect crucial evidence. I just re-watched the body cam video. Lieutenant Pruitt never asked Mr. Kruse if he had been drinking and how much. Even after he noted that the front of his shirt was wet. Lieutenant Pruitt does state he is well aware that Kruse is a Commissioner. It takes courage to take on people with power. This officer did not have courage on this day.
DONTcry
JUN 22, 2022  •  Well well well, yet another Manatee commissioner at the public sight of a major injustice! We are not surprised, we have seen the video of an extremely impaired driver that thankfully hit a tree and not people. So close to home he almost got away with it eh! But no, momma, his wife came to get him into her car and agree with his lies of DUI and asked to take him home...WHAT! who gets to take a suspected DUI person "home to rest" BUT a political figure that is a shame to our community! I assure I did NOT vote him in office, besides the fact his above-the-law actions are deplorable and so are his wifes! They should BOTH be charged! Her for obstruction of justice and him for obvious DUI hitting a tree (that came out of nowhere) Make this right under the law, because we the people are watching and this adds to the privileges of ALL the current commissioners and their poor judgment in the eyes of the voters! So wrong on so many levels, great example for their children to see that daddy can do as he pleases and get away from the laws. Simple reckless and unjustified behavior of a person in his position. He should be banned from public office and stripped of his failing duties. Wake up the very people that should uphold the laws for everyone in the community, the voters already see and know what is going on!
DONTcry
JUN 22, 2022  •  Well well well, yet another Manatee commissioner at the public sight of a major injustice! We are not surprised, we have seen the video of an extremely impaired driver that thankfully hit a tree and not people. So close to home he almost got away with it eh! But no, momma, his wife came to get him into her car and agree with his lies of DUI and asked to take him home...WHAT! who gets to take a suspected DUI person "home to rest" BUT a political figure that is a shame to our community! I assure I did NOT vote him in office, besides the fact his above-the-law actions are deplorable and so are his wifes! They should BOTH be charged! Her for obstruction of justice and him for obvious DUI hitting a tree (that came out of nowhere) Make this right under the law, because we the people are watching and this adds to the privileges of ALL the current commissioners and their poor judgment in the eyes of the voters! So wrong on so many levels, great example for their children to see that daddy can do as he pleases and get away from the laws. Simple reckless and unjustified behavior of a person in his position. He should be banned from public office and stripped of his failing duties. Wake up the very people that should uphold the laws for everyone in the community, the voters already see and know what is going on!
Miles
JUN 22, 2022  •  While he may not receive conviction on this element of the incident. He lied to his insurance company about how it happened that will Be more costly to him overtime than the DUI.
Greg
JUN 22, 2022  •  Don't worry the board will vote to provide him a car and driver while his license is suspended. All at taxpayer expense. The fabulous four always take care of each other. Or maybe the administrator can chauffeur him around in his exclusive county funded suv
Jennifer
JUN 22, 2022  •  You can't force someone to take a breathalyzer or to do field sobriety tests. We as citizens are not required to prove cases against us. That's the prosecution's job.
David Daniels
JUN 22, 2022  •  Sheriff Wells should also be held accountable for not addressing actions of Lieutenant Pruitt. This case will be more difficult to prosecute because Lieutenant Pruitt failed to do his job. He did not collect the key evidence that proves guilt - the percentage of alcohol. This wasn't just neglect. It was assisting and aiding someone he knew had broken the law. Sheriff Wells, is this impression you want the public to have of your officers? You discredit the entire organization by condoning Lieutenant Pruitt's decision to place Mr. Kruse above the law. You have tarnished the reputation of all Manatee County Sheriff officers.
Ron
JUN 22, 2022  •  Creepy Commissioner Kruse and his wife both lied to the 911 operator. Also, Creepy Kruse and his wife admitted while on MCSO Body Camera, that CCK was driving his F-150. If someone/somebody walks into the Sheriff's Office and admits they committed a crime, after the fact. They get arrested, charged and then prosecuted by the state attorney. Kruse needs to start his healing. By admitting the obvious, DUI......
Jill’s Morrison
JUN 22, 2022  •  Why wasn’t a field sobriety test done at the scene? He was obviously intoxicated! A child could see that. Poor police work. Shame on them.
Merline Jann
JUN 22, 2022  •  I am glad to see he is being charged but more than likely he will go to driver training class, sign a plea deal and it will not be recorded on his record or he will fight it in court and it will be thrown out because the officer did not give him the sobriety test even tho he admitted he was driving and body cam clearly shows he was undelete influence/ intoxicated.


FACEBOOK COMMENT POSTING AND VIEWING BELOW