LIBERTY — A state district judge last week sent the embattled Liberty County election’s administrator back to jail to await trial after ruling he violated the conditions of his release on bond.
Klint D. Bush, who also is the former chairman of the Liberty County Housing Authority board, appeared in 253rd state District Judge Chap B. Cain III’s courtroom Feb. 16 for a bond-revocation hearing.
Bush was arrested Dec. 8, 2022, charged with two felonies and was subsequently released on bond under the condition he was to have no contact with any current or former members of the housing authority board, at least those from 2019 onward.
Testimony indicated that while Bush was out on bond, he continued to remain in touch — either by person, phone or text — with Emily Cook, chairwoman of the Liberty County Republican Party and a former housing authority board member.
Court records show those dates are Jan. 15, Jan. 22 and Feb. 3.
Witnesses also testified a distraught Bush suffered a mental-health crisis that makes them worry about his safety.
Bush is charged with abuse of official capacity, a third-degree felony that carries a maximum prison sentence not to exceed 10 years, and also theft of property, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years behind bars.
The investigation targeting Bush stems from a fall 2021 complaint received by the Texas Rangers alleging fraudulent activities at the housing authority. Investigators with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General also participated in the probe.
After Cain issued the ruling, Liberty County District Attorney Jennifer Bergman said she was satisfied with decision.
"We are just concerned about the safety and health of Mr. Bush,” she said.
Defense counsel Gary Tabakman had asked the judge to allow Bush to keep his freedom pending further legal developments, suggesting his client be issued a warning and be required to wear an electronic monitoring device with a GPS tracking system.
Prosecutor Anna Emmons countered such conditions would prove ineffective since Bush had already violated the terms of his release more than once.
She also told the court she feared for the defendant’s well-being if he remained out on bond.
After Cain’s ruling, Bush was remanded without bond to the Liberty County Jail pending trial.
Witnesses called to the proceedings included Russell Payne, managing editor of The Vindicator.