Bush trial set for Monday

The Russell County Circuit Court trial of Phenix City Councilman Ray Bush is scheduled for Monday at the Russell County Courthouse.

Bush, 70, the at-large councilman and vice-mayor in Phenix City's council-manager form of government, is accused of misdemeanor harrassment by City Clerk's Office Administrative Assistant Charlotte L. Sierra.

Lee County District Court Judge Russell Bush, no relation to the defendent, will hear the jury-less trial after judges from the Russell County Judicial Circuit recused themselves from the case.

Bush was appointed to hear the case by the Alabama Supreme Court. The case had been continued from an early October date due to the recusal and may be continued again because of a pending request for a continuance by Bush attorney Kenneth Funderburk.

Sierra filed a letter of complaint against Bush with Phenix City City Manager Bubba Roberts on Aug. 27, accusing the councilman of making off-color sexual jokes and unwanted touching. The city manager, however, has no authority over an elected city official in city or state statutes.

Sierra then filed a complaint with the Phenix City Police Department, which forwarded the complaint to the Russell County District Attorney's Office. Bush was arrested on Sept. 14 after an investigation.