A longtime staffer for Democratic Rep. Darren Soto of Florida was arrested Friday on a DUI charge after rear ending a motorcyclist with her two kids in the car.
Cecilia Cruz was driving southbound on an Orlando highway on a suspended license when she hit the motorcyclist causing a skull fracture, troopers told the Orlando Sentinel. The motorcyclist is expected to survive.
Cruz’s eyes were watery and bloodshot and her breath smelled of alcohol and she blew a .119. Florida’s legal limit is .08. Troopers also found a cold can of beer in her cupholder.
Cruz has worked with Soto since 2008 when he was a Florida state senator. She currently serves as a field representative and military liaison.
“I am deeply disappointed in Ms. [Cruz’s] actions,” Soto said in a statement. “We have suspended her with pay pending further investigation and have instructed her to begin alcohol rehabilitation classes immediately.”
Cruz told officers she was on her way to a friend’s house in St. Petersburg after leaving a work event where she had “a couple glasses of wine.”
She was charged with DUI, driving on a suspended license while causing serious injury and child endangerment. Her children, age 14 and 9, were released to a relative.
The arrest comes as the Department of Veteran Affairs has recently taken moves to clean up employees with repeated instances of wrongdoing. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: VA Employee Convicted Of DUI Three Times Returns To Work At Memphis VA Medical Center)
Cruz was taken to the Orange County Jail but has since been released after posting bond.
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