The Southwest Florida regional director for Republican Sen. Marco Rubio was arrested this weekend after his wife told deputies he rolled her up inside a rug and beat her after she pretended to pass out.
On Monday, two days after his arrest on a domestic violence battery charge, 39-year-old Michael J. Brennan of Bonita Springs resigned. But he disputes the allegations by his wife, Kelly, 34, a former real estate broker.
“He submitted his letter of resignation this afternoon and we accepted it,” Rubio’s press secretary, Alex Conant, said Monday, declining to say whether they’d asked him to resign.
Brennan’s defense attorney, Michelle Hill of Naples, said Brennan — and a babysitter who was at their home — will refute what his wife told Lee County sheriff’s deputies. Hill said those who know him know the allegations are false.
“The decision to arrest was made after speaking with Kelly Brennan, whose intoxication was obvious, though the fact that (she) had been drinking was omitted from the police report,” Hill said. “When law enforcement made contact with Mr. Brennan, he was sober and fully cooperative. We are confident that the results of an actual investigation into these allegations will reveal my client is innocent of the charges against him.”
Deputies were dispatched to the couple’s home on the 1400 block of Bellino Terrace at 11:30 p.m. Friday after Kelly Brennan called 911 and hung up, according to an arrest report. She was visibly upset, had a swollen cut with dried blood on her right elbow and there were blood stains on the living room wall, where she said he threw her after she confronted him about rolling her inside the carpet, reports said.
Deputies took seven photos to document the evidence, including her injuries. She refused medical treatment. The Brennans have been a couple for seven years and have two young children, who were asleep at the time.
Her 6-foot, 250-pound husband left their home, but was questioned and arrested at 6:35 a.m. Saturday at the Quality Inn Suites on Painted Indian Lane, Fort Myers. He was arrested, booked into the county jail and released early that afternoon after posting $1,000 bond. The first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
The arrest report gives this account:
When the couple arrived home Friday night, he drove their vehicle into the driveway. They began arguing and he pushed her onto the garage floor, where she landed on a rug.
“Kelly states that she acted as (if) she had passed out when she landed,” the report says. “ ... Michael then began to roll her up into the carpet ‘as if I was dead or something’ ... and then began to kick and punch at the carpet with her still wrapped in it.”
Once she heard him go upstairs, where their children were sleeping, she unrolled herself and went to the living room, where the babysitter sat, and confronted him about wrapping her in the carpet. He got angry, called her a liar and she asked the babysitter to leave.
After the babysitter left, he forcefully pushed her into a wall, causing the cut on her elbow.
“She is afraid Michael will come back and try to get her because she called police ... and is afraid that Michael will try to use this against her to get the children,” the report says.
Brennan was tracked to the hotel and questioned after his wife checked their online bank account and found he’d just checked in there.
Under the law, deputies deleted the statements he’d made to them about the rug and her injury because some could incriminate him.
Deputies asked for his phone, but he didn’t have it so they called the number and his wife picked it up, saying she’d found it lying outside.
She twice asked deputies to let her husband go, saying she no longer wanted to press charges. Deputies asked her for the babysitter’s number so they could verify the allegations, but the report says Kelly Brennan was uncooperative and hung up.
She couldn’t be reached for comment.