BRADENTON – Port Manatee's executive director Carlos Buqueras was arrested on domestic battery charges this weekend, after he allegedly pushed, punched and dragged his wife Saturday evening in a dispute over household bills at their home in Parrish.
Buqueras was hired in late 2011 at a base salary of $175,000. Buqueras' compensation package caused controversy when it was revealed that then-port authority board chair (and current Manatee County Commission chair) Larry Bustle had lavished the new director with several unprecedented perks without disclosing to the board that Buqueras had agreed to take less than was offered, before they voted to approve his contract. In August of 2012, the board voted to give him a 5 percent raise.
Buqueras was released from the county jail Sunday on $500 bail. His is the latest in a string of arrests involving Port Manatee employees. Just a few months ago, Buqueras fired his CFO Bob Armstrong after an internal investigation for allegedly attempting to cover up thefts by his son, who himself had been fired earlier this year after abandoning his position.
The younger Armstrong was later arrested on felony theft charges, related to theft of port property. His father was arrested July 24 and currently faces multiple charges for his role in allegedly purchasing property stolen by his son from local pawn shops and attempting to return them to the port without reporting the incidents.
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